2012 actually has some great bikes available for around 8k or less. The two I personally like is the Harley Davidson Iron 883 Sportster which is a great looking rugged bike by Harley Davidson. It has all the nostalgic looks that Harley is famous for. Its got fatter tires all the way around and a much ballsier stance than previous Sportster models. Not being a fan of the old Sportster’s myself I find myself strangely drawn to owning one of these.
Next is the triumph Bonneville. I have always wanted a Triumph after riding a friend of mines home from the dealer years ago. The Bonneville is a throw back to the days of Steve McQueen and the movie The Great Escape. There is an actual matte green Steve McQueen version of this bike available in 2012. The bike is not particularly powerful at a mere 67hp but its a really cool classic ride and probably a great starter bike for a first time rider.
Either of these bikes would be a great addition to any garage. Personally I would lean towards the Harley for the money I think its just more bike.