Your "friends" have no idea what they are taking about. The Ruger SR9/SR40 is a fine pistol indeed.
Seconded. The SR-series is a robust, quality, reliable pistol and Ruger stands behind everything they sell. I steered my friend to an SR9 for his first pistol and it ate the first 500 flawlessly, including a test box of his Winchester 147-grain RA9T carry ammo. It sits in his bedroom in a GunVault and he trusts his family to it. I have no regrets about my recommendation.