Most full size and compact modern firearms are sufficient for self-defense. I’ve carried a wide variety and, while I have my favorites, wouldn’t feel too poorly armed even with my least favorite weapon. However, the line is much closer when it comes to subcompact guns. Some of them are too painful to fire, others aren’t accurate, others yet simply don’t have enough punch to stop probable threats quickly enough. On the other end of the spectrum are the fancier, more expensive models with higher performance than the budget alternatives. Boberg XR9S and XR9L are, in my opinion, such pistols. They have longer barrels than other autoloaders of similar length, they kick less (mainly thanks to rotary lockup) and show substantially better accuracy than most. They even hold an extra round compared to all other models with the same grip size. You can even get them with magazine floorplates color-matched to your outfit
In a way, it reminds me of the debate on what’s important in girlfriends. If you can find a woman who is more competent than others, fits you better and isn’t too high maintenance — that’s the choice obviously superior to the others. Having to make some accommodations — such as getting used to a slightly unorthodox manual of arms with the XR9 or having to be equally competent and impressive to win the girl over seems like a small price to pay.
When I look out there, I see a small number of people clearly superior to others in intelligence, personality and ethics — and would consider the effort to stay socially engaged with them worth making. The same is true of the higher end weapons — if you can afford the time and the resources for something superior, enjoy that luxury. Having a high-end gun only bears superior results if the user is up to par, and the same is true of relationships. That’s why it’s so funny to watch people envy other people’s mates when those mates are clearly out of their league in intelligence, personality and other good qualities. And this is why all societies experience constant stratification — smart people tend to date and marry other smart people, with each next generation usually having the benefit of both better genes and superior upbringing.
Going back to pistols: I wouldn’t pay extra for engraving or gold-plating because that just increases the maintenance requirements. Cyrano de Bergerac was right, true elegance is within. I would pay more and learn more esoteric manual of arms to go from a film camera to a digital one, from a perfectly adequate conventional subcompact 9mm to a Boberg, or to being very picky when it comes to dates. As with weapons, the cost of picking a mate badly can be too high.
My own choice in people mirrors my pick in pistols: a lot of capability in a short frame