It may be a good bike but I don't think any "starter" bikes look nearly as good as the V-Star or have the aftermarket the V-Star does. I think people upgrade from a V-Star only because they HAVE to (like me, too tall and too high RPM
). The bike is like a toyota, it works great, but no frills. My mom lasted a whole year before she went from 1100 shadow to Harley, but that was around 12 years ago. I had my vstar until I got married and needed a bigger bike for the wife (2 years). I would have kept it for an "around town" bike and gotten a bagger by now if I were still single (happy not to be, love bike but love wife more).
I still think she should TRY a V-Star. If she is able to tippy toe, go for the slam. My $0.02