Good article on growing beyond "tacticool" (Warning, language at link.)
Ol' Backwoods' response follows.
I've been influenced by these guys a lot, who, despite their podcast's name, have grown out of "tacticool". In fact, they have a slogan I love, and I have a couple shirts that bear:
I've come to believe that.
I don't buy much new gear or guns these days, unless I feel it absolutely necessary.
Rather than upgrade to more "tacticool" gear, I've began to upgrade MYSELF, through "refinement and repetition" of my skills, as champion shooter Steve Anderson puts it, Like you say: "Handgun 1": marksmanship, gun handling, and speed. These are practiced separately, and melded into an integrated whole in the forge of the simulated stress of competition shooting.
I try to dry-fire at least 2 nights a week. I started out working the Stoeger book, but lately, I'm on to Steve Anderson. "Get to work" he always says on "That Shooting Show". So, I've been getting in 3 nights a week of dry-fire practice. I try to live-fire or shoot a match every weekend.
I believe the "me" upgrade is succeeding. I've lost weight, I feel more alive, my everyday senses and mind seem sharper, and I am shooting a pistol better than anytime in my life.
100% agree with the article: lose the "tacticool", and upgrade yourself. I'm trying to do just that.