this is where the self defense argument snowballs. someone asks about a 22 and people try to upgrade you to a larger gun. if you upgrade from a 22 to a 9mm someone will tell you you should have got a 40cal and then someone will say you need nothing less than a 45. the same goes for rifles. next will come the brand argument, you will say you have x brand and everyone will tell you they wouldn't trust their life with anything less than a y or z brand gun. then comes the cost argument. they will tell you they wouldn't trust their lives to a $200 or $300 or $500 gun and you need to spend $1000 or $2000 or..well you see where this is going.
Except you neglect the law of deminishing returns. There is a very large difference between the 22lr and 9mm out of a carbine. While there is a measurable difference between a 9mm and a .45 cal from a Carbine, the result is more often the same. You cannot say that for a 22lr vs 9mm. As far as the cost vs quality argument, i won't address that. A 9mm hipoint carbine that is reliable works for me.
As far as to the performance of a 22lr from a rifle? See here
The result was plenty of penetration (13-15") but fairly pitiful expansion (.028"). Since the both really are desired the 22lr isn't the best first choice. Even 9mm ball starts out bigger than the expanded 22lr and a 9mm HP only gets bigger.
Is a 22lr better than a sharp stick? Absolutely. Would I use it if it was my only firearm -- yup. If I had a choice would I pick a different firearm, yes I would.