Daily Tech has this article about a laser from Wicked Lasers that is supposed to be powerful enough to burn things and people. For a mere $200 bill. I know people that would spend that much on dinner. Their disclaimer/warning says
It will blind permanently and instantly and set fire quickly to skin and other body parts, use with extreme caution and only when using the included eye protection.I have to admit my first reaction is serious Want!, but I think I'll let someone else be the beta testers. I mean, what would I use it for? A toy? A really, really cool kitchen knife?
As weapon, it might have a good intimidation factor, but you will have to keep something in mind that you don't have to think of with your handgun. With your gun, the firings are discrete; that is, when you send a bullet down range, it's a only one bullet at a time, moving through the air quickly. Once it gets to something that stops it, the bullet stops and if you stop shooting, no one is endangered any more. A moving target going through its path has to meet the bullet in both time and space. The laser will be continuous. You could have a clear path behind your intended target but while you're fighting, someone could walk into it. I have no doubt you'd be liable for injuries to bystanders, as you are with a gun.
So while it's interesting, I don't see giving up my XDsc.