SV650s is a great first bike. At 5'8", it shouldn't need any lowering. It's relatively light and I have known lots of smaller ladies to ride them. It's generally a popular middleweight with females, so much so that it has something of a reputation as a "girl's bike" in the UK. It's as sporty as she'll need as a n00b without the higher consumables costs of a 'full on' sportsbike. The SV650s is very easy/cheap to restrict to 33BHP (and to reverse the procedure afterwards). It also, because it's relatively torquey and light, it doesn't feel castrated when restricted the way some bikes do.
So, my response would be: get the SV650s and if you/she feels it is a bit too powerful, stick the restrictor on it until she gets more comfortable on it.
I like my bike because I can overtake 4x4s down farm tracks with a week's worth of shopping on the back.