js... my first Beretta was a 9000s in 9mm. When I got back into pistols late in 2004 I started researching what I wanted to get new and found the 9000 and loved it. There have been many a person who has disliked the way the grip felt to them and the shallowness of the slide to grab and pull back. I had mine for over a year and about 3600 rounds of WW or UMC and was never as good as I would have liked on targets. I have acquired several Berettas since then and have gotten a whole lot better with my targets. I fanally gave up on the 9000s and it became our 2nd Px4. Since then I have gotten an 85FS and looking back that should have been what I bought as my first Beretta.
The 84/85 series has a slightly longer barrel than the 9000 and a grip that feels like any other Beretta. I know... its only a .380... well, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that !
Maybe the price increase was fate telling you "you don't want that one". I just look back and see that i should have gone a different route, and finally did get back on track.