My first flute I bought when I started playing back in the fourth grade. My mom bought it at a pawn shop and it did not have a company name on it. This flute was fine for me because none of the pads leaked and we didn't have a lot of money at the time.
If you are buying a new flute, buy it from an online company. There may be links on the right side. If you are buying a used flute, then you can get one from a local music store.
All Beginner flutes are machine made, so they are pretty much all alike. This means if you demo one flute, another flute in the same model will sound exactly the sound.