I am sure this topic has come up before, but with many new members here, perhaps we can get some more input.
I went with a category rather than a particular firearm, figuring that will get more objective feedback. Feel free to post about a specific firearm if you have one in mind.
For me, I can think of nothing I would prefer as an all-around firearm more than a simple 12 gauge pump shotgun. Here's my reasons:
bird hunting (obvious)
big game hunting (okay, pretty obvious as well)
self defense (maybe not as a concealed firearm, unless I am wearing my duster, which would still make me look like I was packing),( #6 or #7 shot at typical household ranges is very effective, and doesn't overpenetrate the structure.)
Dangerous game (5 rounds of 50 cal saboted 1 oz slugs should be pretty devastating at close range. Maybe not for longer ranges, but definitely what I'd call a charging deterrent)
Recreation (okay, a plinking gun it ain't, but a cheap box of skeet is still pretty fun)