For those that saw and/or responded to my first post
here's an update:
Stopped by the small Mom & Pop shop right by my house to fondle the XD/XDm line again, and lo and behold they got a some new S&W M&P's in, which was the only pistol I hadn't been able to physically lay hands on. Well, no more.
Tried out the M&P9c and the 5" full size. Tried out all the hands grips and liked the medium & small the best. Did a field strip at the counter, which turned out to be somewhat more difficult than the XD/XDm's. On top of that, there's no ambi mag release, and even though the M&P's is reversible I prefer to have it ambidextrous just in case I'm forced to shoot with my weak hand for some reason.
Long story short, I put my deposit down on an XD. It's a 4" barreled .40S&W in black with Trijicon's. Cost: $559.00 plus tax, which I think is pretty reasonable.
I just like the XD's feel better than just about anything else (except maybe the P2000/SK) plus the ambi mag release just plain works so well in either hand. Very natural and intuitive for me.
Now, I just need to find some way to pass the time until my order is filled. What to do, what to do? Hmmm... maybe I'll order up one of those nice 9mm conversion barrels for practice. Of course, I should order up some extra mags first I think though.
Anyone care to provide feedback on some high quality aftermarket mags for my new XD? Are there any, or is it best to go factory for reliability?
Thanks again to all for this great resource. I can hardly wait to get to the range and post a report, and some pics of my new acquisition.