Finally made my way to a show this past weekend to join an acquaintance who sells thousands of gun / tactical / self defense books.. Picked up a S&W M&P 9mm compact.. I held all sorts of similar handguns, but the M&P just felt SOOOO comfortable, so I couldn't pass it up..
I also snagged a little Phoenix Arms HP22 for plinking, and also for my wife to use while getting used to firing a handgun. I know it is far from top of the line, but for $150.00 with a 5" & 3" barrel and a range kit, figured it wasn't too big a risk.
I also tried to find a deal on a Mossberg 500 or Rem 870, but couldn't find anything to beat a used 500 at my local dealer with normal stock and pistol grip.. So I'm snagging that today..
Now to get my rear to the range and get used to these puppies.. I'm really excited to get some rounds through these asap. Thanks to everyone for your advice.