We'll for me, like your friends, I just kind of wasn't interested and over looked them for many years. Don't know why I just did. What initially led me to them was looking for a full size carry option that I could carry safely and discretely in a belly band. I like Sigs but don't shoot them especially well and while fairly flat they tend to print their squarish out line on me at least. Ended up getting a more sculpted and contoured 92FS and it worked great. Foolishly parted with it when I got back into 1911's but I will probably rectify that soon. I have the PX4 storm that I got based on good reports, I liked the styling and features and most importantly to me it has one of the nicest DA pulls I have found. Better than the 92 and P series Sigs to me at least.
After I finally purchased a few Beretta's motiviated by purpose rather than "gotta have that brand loyalty" then I came to really appreciate them and now regret that I over looked them for so long. Missed out on brand new Cougars and other models now discontinued. Better late than never I suppose.