This question has produced an enormous amount of comment with passionate beliefs on all sides of the issue. My position has wavered over time and I'm an analyst by profession. The best I can do is tell you where I stand at the moment.
Viability of a given round requires considering quite a few parameters, only one of which is the distance of penetration in ballistic gel. In general, I choose HP (hollow point) not for it's ability to do damage in the environment it is meant to, but to minimize the damage that the 80% of missed shots will do after first hitting walls, furniture, etc. For the 380, I could be persuaded to go FMJ or HP depending on the day and the last discussion I had with others.
The new Hornady Critical Defense round (see other thread on this) may just swing me more consistently into the HP choice. It's technology is meant to overcome the problems associated with filling the hollow with clothing and preventing expansion. There have been other HP rounds filled with stuff which have provided marginal but unreliable improvement in consistency of expansion. Hornady's design attempts to carefully balance the chemistry of the filler and the architecture of the bullet to provide a combination that is aimed at the reliability of expansion. The compromise of total penetration inherent in the 380 is not really addressed. There are lots of arguments about depth of penetration vs. a sever wound channel from reliable expansion as which is more effective at stopping a threat. The FBI's standard still reigns supreme in many peoples eyes. But we know how hard it is for a bureaucracy to change. Hornady has invested a lot in research, development and marketing of this new round so I conclude there is a good case to be made. I've bought some of this new round and await the return of my LCP to make sure it runs flawlessly. If it does, I will begin carrying it and hope to never have to test it's effectiveness at threat stopping as I monitor reviews and more professional testing.