People will argue 9mm versus .45 with no conclusion other than the other side is wrong. The point is when it comes to caliber, any will work to stop a target and save your life. Shot placement is what really matters with firearms - any sized round that hits the intended target in a vital area can and will save your life. On top of that, shooting the smaller caliber rounds can save you money, especially with how terrible the job market is today. The more you shoot, the better you get; when you practice enough, you can stop your target and save the lives of your family, friends, innocent people, and even yourself.
For the smaller-framed person, the smaller caliber can also reduce recoil of the gun when firing, allowing for faster follow-up shots. Now, I am not endorsing the smaller calibers, but offering an insight on why they are not junk compared to .40, .45, and 10mm. Use what you like and what you are comfortable with, but make sure you practice as much as you can.