roberg I think makes some good points. In relation to my own skill level--I've got a wealth of irrelevant technical knowledge (hey guys did you know the gauge number of a shot gun is determined by the multiplicative inverse of the weight in fractions of a pound of a lead sphere with the same diameter?) and limited shooting experience. My father was an Infantry Captain (anyone else enjoying a Legacy USAA membership?) and decided he'd had enough of firearms for his tastes and so the only guns I grew up around were non-working replicas my grandfather built from kits.
I purchased my first pistol in early 2012 and I have a Taurus Millennium Pro PT145 and I've shot probably 500rds. Maybe a another hundred or two on times when I've gone to the range with a friend who lives out of state (much to my dismay since he's a retired Sheriff's Deputy and would give me a ton of free tips).
Let me also say that I'm really sad you aren't the instructor here, Archie. Can I convince you to move and possibly change careers?
Your 9mm could, and in all likelihood will expand. But my .45 will never get any smaller.