ben... To add to your point about the 12 gauge. In the "Cartridges of the World, 6th ed" I believe Frank Barnes ( I could be wrong on the name) stated that if he could have only one gun to take with him anywhere in the world it would be the 12 gauge. That is good enough for me.
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor