Lot of great advice in this thread. Thanks.
Have any of you been put off an entire brand because of a bad previous experience like mine with the CZ 75B?
Again, I have heard many, many good things about the 550 Americans, so this wasn't intended to be a bash-CZ thread. I have friends who swear by them and just about everyone loves them, so I am wondering if my hesitancy is just bad luck from an isolated event.