Regional popularity for any of these games is going to vary wildly because of GW’s relative stranglehold on the miniature gaming market, but in terms of relatively low modelcount games (10-20 models per side, crazy gimmick lists notwithstanding) and a preference for future stuff, Infinity is the real standout. The models are a little expensive individually, but they’ve got the best sculptors in the business, and I personally really dig their aesthetic, the occasional stupid cheesecake model aside (they’ve gotten marginally better about this recently, but the running joke of “175 years into the future, everyone has an incredible butt” is still very applicable). The game itself is a bit of a departure from typical turn-based wargaming - during your opponent’s turn, your guys can react to your opponent’s actions that they see or that otherwise take place in their sphere of awareness, and it leads to a lot of dramatic dice-offs. On the other hand, mechanically, it’s rolling a bunch of d20s to less than or meeting a target number, ideally higher than your opponent’s rolls, and as a result can feel incredibly swingy, especially given its crit mechanic. It’s really engaging, but also kind of exhausting. I like Infinity a lot, but I don’t play it that much because it takes a lot of energy. Needs a bunch of terrain to be good, too, but as a result, looks incredible in play. The other concern you might have is that all the models are metal - as I said, the sculpts are very good, and the casting tends to be extremely clean, but there’s a lot of cleanup and assembly issues that metal minis have that just aren’t present with good hard plastic stuff.
Another option to consider is Fantasy Flight’s excellent X-Wing miniatures game, which is all prepainted minis (though you can easily repaint them, plenty of folks do) and a really good dogfight-style combat model. 2-6 ships per side, plays out in an hour or so, generally. Definitely lighter fare than most “hardcore” hobby-based minis games, but that’s a bonus in a lot of ways, too. Biggest downside is its reliance on funky custom dice and the way your basically end up having to buy a bunch of ships you don’t necessarily want to get the upgrade cards you want (irrelevant if you just play casually, but they’re required for tournament play). Upside is that it’s super popular, because one of the only things nerds love more than skull-covered grimdark fascist stormtroopers is Star Wars.
Warmachine is a game I loved a lot in the past, but got really tired of and cynical about late in its second edition through a combination of burnout and knowing too much about the developers’ own personal quirks. Its 3rd edition is a perfectly decent game, but it doesn’t seem to have the spark it used to for me and my group. They at least seem to know that their game has hit a bit of a rocky patch and are in the process of conducting massive, focused, public playtests to revise the parts of it that don’t necessarily work well. It’s very much a game where list construction matters a lot, though saying that, it’s absolutely possible to just outplay your opponent and win despite playing into a bad matchup. The metagame has, in my experience, been a lot more open than it’s typically characterized as being, and the top tables of major tournaments would have a lot of familiar faces at them regardless of how it stood at the time, just because they were people who played well (and a lot, practice makes perfect). All of that said, honestly, the model count in an average game isn’t that different from 40k unless you’re playing orks, 'nids, or another horde army, and the quality of the sculpting is definitely a step down from GW’s. Plus, their plastic tech is years behind GW’s, which can make the hobby part of the game a lot less enjoyable. Its reputation as “the tournament wargame” definitely seems to hold a magnetic attraction for shitty people, but every crowd is going to be different, and you won’t know until you interact with them. I’ve met plenty of great folks playing Warmachine over the years, and plenty of huge assholes playing GW (and other) games.
Before I go, I’ll also put in a few words for Guild Ball, a fantasy medieval soccer-themed skirmish wargame made by a bunch of people who played a lot of competitive Warmachine and said “man, I bet we can do something like that”. It’s very much a mechanics-first game, their early sculpts range from outright bad to merely mediocre, though they’ve been getting much better as of late, but it plays really, really well. Their 2-player starter box, Kick-Off, is probably one of the best mini game starter products I’ve ever seen, and the combo of trying to kick a ball into a goal while your team and the other side try to beat the living hell out of each other is really satisfying thematically. Only having 6 figures per side on the field at a time means there’s a really low barrier to entry, too.