Stopping power comes, oddly, from power. Shot placement is more and more important as power goes lower and lower.
Which handguns essentially do not have in abundance. I've seen data suggesting that what we think of as "stopping power" requires a minimum of 2000fps.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.