I have extensive experience with shotguns and competition shooting same. I also have a ton of experience with long guns. Where are the price breaks in handguns? For instance a $600 shotgun will DO anything that a $2000 shotgun will, it just wont do it as long or reliably as the more expensive brand. But there comes a point where you quit gaining performance and reliability, and just gain appearance factors. A Kreighoff shotgun starts at about 10k, but most of that is in the engraving and exclusivity ( supposed) of the brand. My comp shotgun is a Berretta DT10, which is pretty much middle of the road at $4K.
It is early in my handgun learning process but it looks as if the semi levels go as such-
Havent found the next level yet! lol
My question is roughly where do the real gains stop, and the razzle dazzle factors take over?
Or more importantly where is the " middle of the road" in semis? What price range gets you an established, solid, reliable pistol with all the important features, and maybe a couple of wow features?
I would say your answer lies in the ~$500 range. For around $500 you can get a Glock, XD, Beretta or M&P, and by doing so you will have a pistol that is reliable as anything else you can purchase, along with very good accuracy.