The virtiole is strong in this thread.
I can see both sides of this issue as I have an admitted weakness for tricked-out 1911's and AR15's.
In many cases...I see the motivation being simple vanity. There is a pretty big pool if shooters out there who honestly think a $3500 1911 will make them a better shooter in place of training and practice. The "Tactical Teddy Wannabes" as I so (okay not-so) lovingly call them.
However...I own a few high-end 1911's and a really nice Browning Hi Power done by Ted Yost, when he was still "Yost-Bonitz". Why? I like them. After a couple of decades in LE making a decent living, I reached a point in my life where I was able to afford what I wanted. I enjoy shooting them. I appreciate the crisp trigger, and beautiful fitting done by a craftsman.
That being said...I CARRY a Glock 19 99.834756298475% of the time. Why? It has been absolutely flawless in function for over 20 years and 300K rounds. I have used it on duty, off duty, in IDPA and USPSA, and now I use it almost exclusively when teaching my defensive pistol classes. I trust it 100%. Other than the Model 66 Smith & Wesson .357 I also treasure...I don't trust ANY other handgun as much as I trust my Glock. It doesn't take Doctor Phil to figure out what I am going to trust my life to.
I am a firm believer that any quality make of defensive sidearm from Glock to Ruger will outshoot the shooter. I know very darned few shooters that can outshoot the capabilities of their pistol as it comes from the factory. YES...there will be exceptions...but I believe that to be the rule, rather than the exception.
A friend of mine...deputy...carries a Les Baer Monolith. he paid a LOT of money for that peice. He has a sharks skin holster and mag pouch combo for off duty carry. I tell you...it's slick as all get out. He can barely qualify with it. If the logic that some here have presented about accuracy, and wonderfulness is true...that pistol ALONE should make him the equal of Robbie Leatham or Doug Koenig.
But...really...it all boils down to buy what you want. Carry what you want. Shoot what you want. But don't be fooled into thinking an expensive gun is any MORE capable of defending you based upon price tag alone. Personally...if I were on a tighter budget...I'd buy a Glock, M&P, XD, or SR9....and spend a LOT of money on ammo, practice, and training.
"Part of the reason I lived long enough to retire is that I was good. The other part is that I was lucky." Me
"If you take your hands off the back of my cruiser one more time, I will make your birth certificate a worthless document." Me Again