strangely enough it looks just like everyone else's XD-s .45
Hate it when that happens
I have the two-tone XDs and yes, I notice it when I shoot. But it sure seems to raise the muzzle less than I would expect, so I get back on target faster. For example, not too long ago I fired a SIG 220 in .45 for the first time in years. I was surprised by the muzzle climb in this alloy framed 220. Guess it was the high bore axis.
Try using 185-grain loads, if you have not yet. There is a noticeable reduction in the recoil.
I don't plan to put a sleeve on mine, but will see if I can sand down a rough edge or two around the back of the grip, maybe around the hole for the grip safety.
The XDs is now my holster carrygun. I bought an IWB holster from Winthrop Holsters and it is a good value for the price, although I think the snaps could be more positive in snapping and staying snapped.