The Alps are beautiful and dramatic, but in quite a different way to the Himalayas. They 'behave' differently, the rock is generally more stable and the snow/ice conditions are different as is the weather. NB a thunderstorm in an alpine valley is not to be missed. The only mountains I know which are "like" the Himalayas are the Southern Alps of New Zealand. They are also much smaller but the weather and conditions are more similar. It is no wonder that one of the first men up Everest was a New Zealander IMHO.
For myself, nothing compares to the Himalayas. I walked part of the Annapurna circuit some years ago and saw Kangenjunga recently - but didn't have enough time to trek unfortunately. Next comes the Southern Alps (NZ) - these are definately NOT beginers mountains, but are well equiped with mountain huts and rescue teams when needed. They are VERY prone to avalanches and rock falls and the hardest work your legs will ever do is carry you across a morraine-covered glacier in this part of the world. They are also reasonably free of the commercialisation prevalent in the French/Swiss Alps, and easy to get to.