Which Flute would you recommend buying for a beginner?
It depends on your budget. Yamaha make excellent quality, long lasting Flutes but they are more expensive than some. I learnt with a Buffet flute. However, I've recently started using Nuvo Flutes. They are excellent value for money (£129 or £99 for the curved head joint from JustFlutes), are robust and 100% waterproof. My favourite feature is the 'first play' lip plate which enables users to make a sound on the flute from the very first time they play, which anyone who has ever started to learn the flute will know is a tricky thing to master!
ABRSM allow candidates to use a non metal and/or curved headjoint from Grades 1 to 3.