Eagle Long Range Fighter Mk 1
The craft which more or less defined "light fighter" is still a viable choice for the courier or less-well-off bounty hunter. It's not a craft meant for prolonged combat, but is the very devil to try and nail with even a beam laser, so a skilled pilot will be able to survive much longer than you would otherwise think.
Speed is the hallmark of the entire Eagle range, and this early example still stands up very well. 20t of space allows for the bare necessities and nothing but, so don't get too ambitious.
Escape capsules come with an insurance policy that gives you an Eagle Mk 1 when you dock. The Stowmaster Fighter that comes with the Turner Class ship does not have such a policy however.
The disadvantage of this craft is basically its size. You can't fit a lot in there, and to try is merely to ask more of the craft than it's able to give.
In Frontier, it has a a hyperspace range of just 8ly with a class 1 hyperdrive, which isn't really enough. This makes it a horrible starting ship, since the standard class 2 drive won't fit and the military version will be beyond your budget for some time.
A perfect craft to learn any of the more aggressive trades on, the Eagle will give you long and distinguished service in any role you ask of it... provided you only ask it to be a nippy little pest of a combat ship.