9mm "tepid performance"?
I recently replaced a .357mag HD gun with a 9mm HD gun.
With my glock's 5.35" barrel, and the ammo I use for HD, 9mm is coming out with roughly 500 ft-lbs. of muzzle energy (alongside many .40 loads and some .45 loads in 4" guns). I used 2 HD loadings in the .357: a 125gr SJHP (525ft-lbs), and 125gr golden saber (430ft-lbs). My current choice, 115gr 9mm corbon coming out at about 1400fps/500ft-lbs, is "on par" with the .357 loads I was using. Granted my .357 was a 4" gun, and the porting meant only about 3.25" of "meaningful" barrel. So the 9mm has a 2" barrel advantage.
As a browning locked breech type auto, it's recoil is extremely manageable, it's 100% reliable, I added a light and a grip-filling weight for balance, shot-to-shot time is competition-fast, the trigger breaks clean as a trigger can possibly break (thank you Dremmel), accuracy is 1"/25m, 19rds instead of 8, ammo is cheap, and it's not nearly as loud as the ported .357
I wish everything I owned was that kind of tepid.
I could have gotten a .40 for the same price as the 9, but I like to practice a lot. And 9mm is still significantly cheaper to shoot. I fully understand why someone in the military or law enforcement would want larger than a 9mm. But I don't plan on having to shoot intruders through car firewalls, nor use ball ammo. Military needs a sidearm that will drop someone with ball ammo (they should always use a .45, nothing less), Police need to sometimes shoot through cars or other cover (.40 is probably the minimum they should use), civilian home defense though? it just needs to make a thumb sized hole in 12" of ballistic gelatin, and have enough sectional density to go through bone obstacles. And it's actually a bonus if the round doesn't go through a burglar, 3 walls, and the neighbor's dog (or worse). ergo, 9mm is "great" for HD. At least in a full sized gun, with proper ammo.
and as others have mentioned: shot placement > caliber
I'm completely with you on the .25acp though. very pointless round. I'd think a .22LR would be better (and obviously cheaper).