Big D, thanks for your advice.
In answer: I don't get out to shoot very often, and thus far it's just been me and the manual flinger. Just about every O/U I could actually put to my shoulder in a store where I am is in the same general price category as the one I have. I have handled pumps and do not like the feel of them. I do not want a self-loader with its extra maintenance issues and possible finicky appetite if I load light or am forced to use a "dirty" powder. And if I ever move back to Australia, I cannot take a pump or autoloader back with me. This last is the overriding factor.
I got what I got with eyes wide open and accepting of the possible downside. When the rest of my life (work, family commitments, etc) eventually lets me get regular shooting time in, I can assure you I'll definitely be in the hunt for something more upmarket. For now, I think what I have is enough to let me get a taste for the sport.
Besides, SOMEONE has to be the guinea pig and see just what these guns are really capable of.
Mine is fun so far, mounts well, feels great to use (recoil is not a problem for some reason), breaks clays reliably when I do things right, and I shall be sorry when it's had its day.