Rarely first-time gifts, because these things are seldom pre-arranged with me. You meet in a bar, you buy him a drink, and that's it. Or you meet at some social function, or at a friend's house.
The one time I traveled a great distance (1500 miles) to meet a guy from online, I packed some little souvenir items from my home state. And he gave me souvenirs, as well, while I was there, our gifts being little mutual mementos of my visit. Months later we became partners.
But usually it's the second meeting when gift tokens are presented. By then I often know what he likes to drink, so I'll bring a bottle. I avoid intimately personal gifts at first, but will continue with little gifts during the dating, getting increasing personal as I know him better.
One BF liked Swarovski crystal (which I don't). So when we went to an opera charity gala with a silent auction that included a red Swarovski crystal heart, on the eve of Valentine's Day, I had to have it for him. It was an enormous auction, and he was focused on some paintings, including some for a live auction portion, and actually overlooked the heart.
So I won it, and at the end of the evening when they announced the winners he was shocked, first as an item that he hadn't seen and would have bid on, and second that it was me who got it, along with some other loot. When we got back to his place, where we had dressed (it was black-tie formal), I presented it to him. He was in tears, but then he had a surprise for me.
He went into this locked cabinet, and took out 2 Swarovski boxes. In one was a smaller version of the red heart, and in the other a larger. The one I gave him was the medium size.
Turns out they were an edition of 3, that he understood had been withdrawn, and he hadn't been able to get the missing piece. And I had given it to him, for Valentine's Day, no less. He swore I was clairvoyant, and I myself didn't know why that silly crystal caught my attention, except that it was a Swarovski heart. Just an incredible bit of good luck.
That gift really cemented our relationship. Giving gifts is a good idea, and every now and then you really hit the mark with the guy, in a way that shows not merely your generosity and affection, but also your consideration for his feelings when you best match the gift to the guy.