Pricing will vary according to your area. Here in Florida, the price varies just between the north and south parts of the state. Look around for a firearm forum that focuses on your region. Then check out their buy/sell/trade area, and that will give you an idea what guns go for in your area.
Limp-wristing can cause the problem your wife experienced, but if she wasn't having the problem with the other guns, then maybe it was something else. If she was shooting them all the same day, her wrist and arms might have been getting tired. Or if the other two guns had shorter grips, she might not have been pushing her hand to the top of the grip; holding a long-gripped gun near the bottom can have the same effect. Or it could just be that the gun was a filthy range beater, just like you said.
You might want to look at a Glock 19 (compact), or maybe even a 26 (subcompact). Since you're in California, as I understand it, you can only have a gun with a 10-round magazine, so the 17 won't give you any advantage in capacity. The bigger the gun, the more it absorbs recoil. So if you want a smoother shooter, the 17 is the way to go. If you want compact, the 26 is very small and very concealable (if that's going to be a consideration). Many people find the 19 to be the perfect balance of size and shootability. I'm not trying to make your choice for you; I just want to point out some options in case you haven't considered them.
I hope you and your wife enjoy whatever you end up choosing.
I don't really know enough about the 4th generation to give you much guidance. I do know that Glock released some 3rd generation models with the rough texture finish. So if that's the only 4th generation feature you are interested in, you might be able to find it without waiting for the 4th generation to become available.
"An armed society is a polite society." — Robert A. Heinlein
"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military."
— William S. Burroughs