OK, I think I have it narrowed down to the M&P and XD in 9mm. They both feel great in my hand. I am going to try to rent them both and shoot them this weekend. Lets say they both feel good to my unexperienced hands. Which one would be the best choice for home protection and target. Maybe later down the road as a carry gun? Please give specific reasons if you can. Who has better cust. serv? Which is more durable? Thanks
You've got a tough problem - I've had both and liked them both. In some ways, I think that both are evolutionary improvements on the Glock. The M&P *may* incorporate some lessons learned from the Walther P99, but that's speculation. I don't think you would go wrong with either of them. Both companies seem to have reasonable support.
About the only thing I can do is point out feature differences:
M&P - easily interchangeable grip panels
XP - grip safety