I grew up pheasant hunting in the midwest and there if you didn't have an 870 12ga with green Remington Express 5's, you were some kind of alien.
That said, I hunt upland quite a bit and over a flushing dog...the birds are up and gone if you can't get on them quickly.
I carry a Browning Silver Hunter 20ga 28" with Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 3" 5's and that combo has killed more birds than I ever have with a 12ga.
First it fits...like an extension of my arm.
Second, it's light. Unless you're living in SD or shooting at a preserve, pheasant guns get carried a lot and shot a little....a heavy shotgun is heavier at the end of the day.
It functions perfectly and the recoil of a light shotgun pushing 1 1/4 ounce of lead is pretty soft for the followup shots (yes, I miss them, too).
Buy a pretty shotgun...it's not a duck blind in a salt marsh, it's upland. Buy something that's nice to look at.
After listening to a lot of people talk about their favorites and spending some real money on poor-fitting shotguns, I decided to buy what feels right, rather than what someone told me was right.