As many of you know, my normal duty and off-duty carry weapon is a Sig P228. I love this pistol - it is very well made, more accurate than I am, reliable as all get out, and (IMO) a good looking gun. In fact, I love Sigs in general, which is why I own four of them...
The team that I lead right now is armed with G19s, so I - in order to maintain compatibility of mags, holsters, mag pouches, etc) - have been carrying a G19 for about 6 weeks now. We've been to the range a number of times, doing a number of exercises, and I'd venture to say that I've put about 1000 rounds through it since I drew it (brand new!) from the armory. I carried a G23 for a while as a civilian, and of course the M9 as a soldier, but it's been a while since I had any meaningful relationship with a Glock. So, why the post?
The Glock 19 has to be one of the finest "fighting" handguns ever created. It is overlooked because it is so common, so "plain Jane," and so (to many) visually unappealing. Yes, you can't gussy it up with pearl grips (or cocobolo, or whatever the flavor of the day is) or trick it out with 10,000 aftermarket (and almost always useless) accessories. The point is - you don't have to. The G19 is just about perfect right out of the box.
The G19 is dead reliable, period. While others may be in the same category, the Glock still sets the standard for rugged dependability (as even most Glock haters can agree).
The G19 is light, slim for its capacity, and easy to conceal. It is also easy to carry all day, every day, even when fully loaded with a 15rd mag.
The G19 is plenty accurate for a combat handgun.
The G19 is simplicity itself, with no levers, safeties, or other doo-hickeys required to fire it - a true "point and click" interface.
The G19 is efficient, packing 15+1 into its frame (17+1 if you want to use cheap and readily available G17 mags). It set the standard for size/weight/capacity ratios that has yet to be significantly overcome.
The G19 is controllable, despite its relatively light weight. Almost anyone can handle 9mm recoil in a mid-sized platform, and rapid follow up shots are quick and easy with the G19.
The G19 trigger is light enough for accuracy, without being so light as to be dangerous (coupled with the trigger safety to help if the trigger is somehow bumped by something, it's a system I am fully confident in).
The G19 is simple and easy to maintain, with parts and mags being available everywhere, at reasonable prices.
The G19 is chambered in the most readily available center-fire pistol caliber in the western world; a caliber that is significantly cheaper than most of it's competitors and is so close in effectiveness as to make the "stopping power" argument (as often as we have it) relatively moot.
So, what are the down sides? That oft-repeated "grip angle" issue, which is purely a matter of taste (and to me at least, smacks of searching for something to complain about).
The "ugliness" factor - how this really enters into the argument when we're talking about a tool to defend your very life (and not to hang over the fire place) is beyond me, but enter into it it does...
The real drawback, IMO? Everyone has a Glock. There is nothing special about them (except their undeniable track record and utter efficiency at their job). You can't get skeletonized hammers, custom beaver-tails, nickel-plating, and so on (well, actually, you can get any number of after-market gadgets/treatments, but the VAST majority of them are complete wastes of time). You can't sell magazines with a picture of a black brick on the cover, no matter how good a tool that brick is - much better to have the newest whiz-bang Glock copy or a $10,000 race gun to draw the eye...
In any case, there's my ode to that most underappreciated of handguns - the one that simply works. Here's to you, G19 - I may never give up my Sig for you, but that's certainly not because you aren't a fantastic platform.