Are we fighting the 'one size fits all' theory?
Just for the tally book, I carry a USPc as a defense pistol. It is the best trade off between 'carry-ability' and 'shoot-ability' I have yet found. If I were carrying openly, I would probably carry either a Government Model in .45 ACP or an N frame S&W revolver in .44 something (or .45 ACP). I carry a USPc because it is easier to carry and hide. That pistol and I can keep all our shots on an IPSC target out to 25 yards all the time and out to 50 if my eyes are cooperating.
For target shooting, I carry something appropriate to the match.
Scotty Coyote makes a very good observation about comparisons. I have several Government Models in .45 ACP and two H&Ks in .40 S&W (USPs, a big 'un and a little 'un.) According to the recoil calculations, the 40s recoil more than the .45s. Not in little part due to the weight difference. However, unless I am shooting them side by side, the difference does not occur to me. There is a marked difference in recoil between a full steel frame pistol and a polymer frame pistol.
It has been mentioned, one must have a pistol that 'fits'. I have small hands, and normally a Government Model is about as big in circumference as I can hold properly. The USPc also fits me, barely. I've carried Glocks (by issue) and they are just too dang large to shoot comfortably; especially one handed.
If one's hands are just a trifle larger, one might be just fine with a Glock.
I am amused by the comment "... .40 is not a beginner's gun..." Many summers ago when I was first interested in firearms and handguns especially, the very same comment was made about the .45 - which in that day meant Government Model. Everyone knew that .45s kicked really hard and were hard to shoot at all, let alone 'well'. They were practically unmanageable by a tyro. History really does repeat itself.