My club has been using the 37 inch Hanwei practical rapier for years. I have read reviews on other sites that state the sword is too floppy or dangerous due to either breakage or the nail head. I personally own one of these swords and have been on the giving and receiving end of full speed sparring hits for the past 3 years.
I am not sure how anyone could actually hold the 37 inch model and find it floppy. The rapier has good flex but is certainly not floppy. The sword is a good balance between thrusting and cutting so it works well as a base training device for many (but not all) rapier systems.
As for the safety of the weapon, we often fence with these swords wearing only masks, light gloves, and T-shirts. You can argue the intelligence of this, but other than some light bruising, the armpit is the only place I have ever been hit that really hurt. I am sure there are people out there that have been injured by this sword, but I think that is true of any full contact training equipment. In the time we have been using them, we have had one take a hard set, but no breakage or issues with the nail head. We also like that the nail head skates off of the mesh of our masks unlike rubber tips, so it feels safer as it does not knock the head back as easily.
In my opinion, this is a great starter / club rapier. You can get them for under $200 (http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH1099&name=Hanwei+Practical+Rapier+37+Inch+Blade) and the blades are replaceable if needed. I did eventually get a Darkwood armory rapier as I was looking for something a little longer that was tournament approved, but I still like my Hanwei.