When you say you wouldn't bet your life on one, what do you mean?
If you had to shoot someone to protect yourself or others and you missed with the 1st round, you have doubts that the Hi-Point would recycle another round so you could fire again? Or that the 9mm round coming out of the barrel of a Hi-Point pistol wouldn't have the same results on the intended target as it would coming from a Colt, Smith & Wesson, Glock, or whatever type of 9mm pistol you'd be shooting? I'll tell you something, at any given time or place with ANY BRAND OR TYPE of SEMI-AUTO-LOADING PISTOL there is the chance it won't cycle correctly ( jam or misfire). And when that happens, any gun you are shooting is a piece of JUNK!!!!!!!!!
In closing, I won't say that a Hi-Point handgun is one of the best handguns available. But on the other hand I wouldn't classify them as junk. They have performed well for me, and I guess that is all that matters.