Pocket holster in condition 1 is how I carry mine.
There's no grip safety, but there is a thumb safety and it works fine.
I'd not want to try to cock the hammer in the heat of the moment.
I agree that it's a fine gun- not inexpensive when compared to some others in the same size/caliber, but its recoil is extremely manageable. I found the aftermarket Alumagrips to be a nice step up from the stock plastic ones (the Crimson Trace laserguard is also a nice addition); the stock plastic grips just didn't give enough purchase for my huge mitts.