You know, I've gone over this in my mind many times and I think it boils down to the fact that shooting a pistol even moderately well is hard, and takes practice. I mean, compared to the average shooter on the public range, I shoot like a frickin' ninja, and then I go to a match or gun school and it's like going from watching Wheel Of Fortune to Jeopardy. One minute I'm on top of the world, at least relatively speaking, next thing you know I'm struggling to get a "Thank You For Participating" prize.
It can be a cold bucket of ice water in the face to find out that, yes, one does really suck with a pistol, and there are two ways to deal with this: Put in the work to make yourself at least reasonably un-sucky, or go to some guy who'll let you dump a bunch of unsighted, un-timed rounds into un-scored targets at arm's length and tell you reassuring things about "Yeah, that's how it is on the street."
And, you know, he's probably right, at least inasmuch as the monthly NRA rag is full of the stories of Ida Blascowicz, who scared the baddie off by fetching her dead husband's service revolver from the sock drawer. It doesn't take a high degree of skill to survive that encounter, and that's what people want to hear. They don't want to hear tales of bad guys that return fire or don't fall to hardball, or whatever. It makes their .45LC/.410 lucky rabbit's foot feel less reassuring.
People talk about police handgun qualifications like they're hard; they're not. Similarly, every state handgun permit qualification test I'm aware of is pretty basic; back in TN I used to tell people not to worry, because if they could stand flat-footed and shoot at the ground and hit it, then they were golden.
Massad Ayoob has a qualification in his MAG-40 class that serves a real purpose, in that it's basically cobbled together from stages of well-recognized LE qualification courses, which looks good to juries. My first thought looking at the course of fire was that if you didn't get a 300/300, you should know why. I got a 300/300. I also shoot in the bottom half of the class at TLG's AFHF and the last time I walked a prize table at a match, I had a hard time picking between the prizes that were left and the tablecloth, which probably cost more.
Being good with a pistol takes work, and defending yourself with a pistol, at least statistically speaking, rarely requires being very good with it. But what if it does? How much time and effort are you willing to expend on being good with a pistol? I guess a lot of it boils down to how enjoyable you find it.
At the end of the day, I do this because it's fun, and because I don't like being sucky at things I think are fun. And who knows? It might even come in handy some day.