Back to your 96 question. I had a friend in college who worked at the local gun/hunting store and he loved the 96. His point, as with most people favoring the .40 over the 9mm, was it has more knock down power and the magazine holds as many rounds.
I shot his several times and enjoyed it. I found the accuracy comperable to the 92.
Before i purchased my 92 I was debating on the 92 vs 96. Since I carried the 92(M9) when i was in the service I decided to go with that for nostalgia reasons.
I bought a 9000 .40 cal. for me and a 9000 9mm for my wife when they first came out. If I could do it again I wouldn't buy the .40 again. Really to much recoil in that little gun especially with the magazine without the flip down pinky extension. The 9mm shoots really nice. I think they're a good quality conceal carry gun, dang I wish we had the law. In my opinion the 40 cal. is a better fit in the full size 96.
One thing I forgot to mention. When I bought my 9000's I was told that my hi cap mags for my 92's would fit in the 9000 9mm. They do NOT fit properly, a 92 mag will be sloppy and may fall out while shooting. You can also make them come out by wiggleing on the mag. I don't know if this is something that they have changed since they first come out or not. The mag latch is in the same place but the magwell is just a little bit bigger on the 9000.