First of all, $299 is a great price!
Second, go ahead and shoot the crap out of it. I have an LC9 and I shoot it plenty when I go to the range. It's actually a robust little gun. You do not need to baby it - I carry mine daily. If anything breaks, it can be fixed. Recoil spring are cheap. So far, mine has run flawlessly. The LC9 is a great little gun. Ruger has a winner with this one.