To actually add helpful insight to my Springfield haters retort,
If I were to buy another 9mm and size/concealment wasn't an issue, Sig Sauer P226 hands down, without hesitation, remorse, regret, or second thought. I've shot many handguns, including Glock (which suck
) and S&W, but I have yet to shoot a 9mm that is as comfortable, accurate, and as smooth operating as the P226. The only problem I had with the P226 was my friend trying to take it away from me... it was his gun. lol
I had a Glock and thought I liked it but eventually sold it. I thought my horrific accuracy with it was just me being a bad shot (which I didn't think I was) but I went and tested the XD above and right out of the box, shot a 4" group at 25'. SOLD. The action is much, MUCH smoother than the Glock and even a Glock lover said the same when he shot it. A nice light trigger (about 4.5 lbs on mine) and it just has a natural fit to my hands. The Glock never felt that way for me.
Glock is an outstanding firearm. No doubts about that. But after doing research (when I was baffled as to how I was so much better with the XD compared to my old Glock when they essentially were the same platform), I found that Glocks have a different grip angle than the XD. For example, if I was to draw, point, shoot (as in a defense situation where you aren't able to ADS) with my XD, there is a very good chance I am going to be center mass... VERY good chance. With the Glock, because of it's grip angle, my natural "point" was at least 6" high. I found this to also be a problem for me with S&W and Beretta.
Pistols can be a lot like shoes. What fits someone perfectly, will not work for the next person. Overall hand size, finger length, palm size, etc. all play a big factor in how well you perform with any pistol. If you are buying a pistol that "looks cool" or because "my buddy has one", you are buying for the wrong reason. I will take an ugly brick of a gun that I can consistently hit center mass with over an elegant work of art I would be better off throwing at someone any day.
Save the beautiful gun purchase for a 1911. For defense, buy what works. Gun quality has come a long way recently so there are only a few options to be leary of. Buy what works best for you. Find a range/gun shop that rents pistols and try some out and see what fits for you. It is how I found my XD which I never would have considered in any way before I shot one.