Now, the salesman has said that the SV650, being liquid cooled is a bit more reliable bike, and that it is also more comfortable and sporty of a ride.
Well I Just sold my sv650 and I owned a gs500 Years ago. I believe the Gs was in the mid 90's the SV was a 2002, As far as reliability is concerned I am a believer in liquid cooled, However I am not a mechanic! As far as looks pick the one you like better! Performance: hands down the SV650! The 650 V-Twin has some nice power and sounds great with a slip on! I did a carbon fiber "Two Brothers" and always got compliments, I also added the factory lower fairing which really looks good! Gel seat for more comfort and that was about it! sold it lat month with 12000 problem free miles.
Gs500f sweet looking but small!
go with the SV in my opinion! You will get bored with the 500 fast! Me on the other hand I go through phases! some times I wanna go fast other times just want to cruise! So I am changing my mind AGAIN! BUY BOTH!
Have You considered used? may be a good idea for a first bike, That way if you don't like it just sell it again!