.40S&W doesn't bother me. I dislike firing .44 Mag, but honestly the worst experience with a pistol that I have had is with a Polish P64 in 9x18 Mak. Man that stings. I shot less than 150 rounds through it then sold it. I found it very unpleasant to shoot...accurate, concealable, but had a nasty bite.
30 rds offhand in a t-shirt with .338 250 grainers does it for me. As well, a half dozen 480 gr balls out of my Brown Bess in front of 150 grs FF taught me to keep my cheek out of harms way. It gets old having to explain the yellow bruise on your face for the next week. The wood grips of the SAA let the 300 gr molys rock away a lot of the recoil, but the simulated ivory grips stick to the skin as they try to rip it off the hand. The ported 41 titanium snubbie may reduce flip up, but the straight back pounding of the 250 gr Federals lets you inventory all the bones up to the elbow. The low pressure 45acp is easier on the ears than the 9 or 40, and at the end of the day, the carry mags are all that are left of them. I still use the 22 for flinch and flyer vaccinations, but only after all the 45's are gone.
My carry weapon is a S&W 642 with Rem. 125gr. +P GS. I practice with std. pressure fmj of course but I'm usually good for 100 or so rounds and then a cylinder full of the GS to stay familiar with it. The recoil is "snappy" for sure but I actually sort of like it! Really good accuracy too. Since I'm not really into front pocket carry I've thought about going with hardwood "combat" grips (with the pinkie ext.), should make the the shot to shot recovery a good bit quicker.
The odd thing is, I absolutely HATE full house .44mags. I've owned a 7.5" SBH and a 4" Anaconda, those 240gr. pills are way too much for me to deal with. For a hot 9mm, I REALLY like the 124gr. Gekko (sp?), man whatta hoot!
For the most part .45ACP is about as big as I'll go for practicality and comfortable shooting. I'd like to get my hands on a 10mm DE though just for a woods gun.