CBR400 is a good bike, another good option is V4 by Honda but you'll be lucky to find one in good condition. FZR400 is not bad either. You can find even bigger bikes of old model n your budget but I shall not recommend anything bigger than 400cc to start with, the rest is your option.
I don't find anything wrong with the CBR250 front shape, people have their likes and dislikes. People even don't like Hayabusa's shape. Posting some CBR and V4 pics: