Life without the BHP? Tough question, Steve. For me, the single action, cocked-and-locked set-up is one of the best things about the BHP, so I suppose I would look for a 1911 style in 9mm first, or, failing that, perhaps go with a Glock.
For me there'd be no question - CZ 75B. The quality/cost ratio of these firearms is incredible. Currently I only have one in .40 S&W, but having shot the 9mm and knowing the comparable quality I wouldn't think twice about it. It's comparable in size to the BHP and as I've said, the quality is great. Now, having said that, why one earth would I ever be without, or want to be without a BHP, though? I can't imagine that. Good question, Mr. Camp!
For me, Walther P99. I realize there are probably better pistols out there, but I've only shot two 9mms in my life: my Hi-Power and my friend's P99. I can't pass judgement on a gun I've never shot, so the P99 gets the nod by default.
Since everyone else has avoided the obvious....If your first Hi Power went belly up, your obvious first choice would be your second HP! Can't believe no one got the obviously correct answer. Heh...
Oh, And Mr. Camp....having read your treatise online about firing 1911's, I'm 100% in your camp [no pun intended]. I had both a .45 and my first Hi Power in 1970 in the beautiful South Seas, and the heft and feel told me I'd much rather be shooting the 9mm than the .45. My hands told me I'd probably be sore after pulling the trigger on the .45... Gotta admit tho' the .45 ammo was much more available at the time...so I guess my straight answer would have to be a GI .45.
Like one of the other respondents, I would have to go with the Walther P99. I definitely like my Beretta 92FS, H&K P200, SIG P228, etc., but I have complete confidence in the reliability and accuracy of my Walther.
Hello. I've mentioned before that were I not able to have a Hi Power, I'd probably go with a CZ-75. That's true, but I might also opt for a 9mm in the 1911 pattern pistol as I like both the caliber and that design. The one that I do own now has never malfunctioned with +P loads thought it sometimes fails to lock the slide back after the last shot with standard velocity ammunition. If it is large for caliber, it darned sure is easy to get fast, accurate repeat shots with.
The CZ is more svelt and has proven reliable and accurate as well.
This would be a very tough call, but it would be one or both of those.
In fact, I would choose the CZ 75 first, over the HP, as it fits my hand better. The tang is, in my opinion, perfect. For carry purpose, the Glock 26 wins hands down: small, light, fast, accurate, cheap.