I prefer an ASP-brand 21-inch steel baton. They are actually pretty easy to find. In additon to the site listed by Gallagher (thanks, Kevin), Cutlery Shoppe (www.cutleryshoppe.com
) offers them at good prices and ships just about anywhere. As for legality, many states specifically prohibit "blackjacks." They then define the blackjack as having a flexible or springy shaft. My review of the Colorado revised statutes indicates that ASPs are legal here. I suggest that anyone interested personally review the statutes for their area before accepting someone else's word. Make sure to check both state and municipal laws to be safe.
The walking stick is also an excellent weapon and a great choice in such a situation. Because of its size, you need to make the commitment to carry it on a regular basis, but if you've got it when you need it, you're in good shape.
As for all the recommended guns/calibers/loads, I certainly respect everyone's right to choose a preference. However, NO handgun is a 100 percent solution to providing stopping power. Given the time and a choice, even the most passionate handgun shooter will opt for a rifle or shotgun before going into a gunfight because they are more reliable stoppers.
With this in mind, if a handgun won't stop someone reliably when you have the luxury of distance (the true advantage of a projectile weapon), it won't do much better at arm's length when you're aim is spoiled by someone trying to skewer you with a knife.
Again, if you're going to count on a gun to solve problems like this, you need to do two things: 1) Actually carry a gun all the time, and 2) Practice shooting tactics that work at close range against animated attackers.
I don't mean any disrespect here, but I've run into scores of people (including law enforcement officers) who, when exposed to realistic knife training, offhandedly commented, "Well' I'd just shoot you." However, when pressed concerning their actual carry habits, most of the generic gun guys didn't carry on a regular basis (or at all) and most of the LEOs had no real proficiency shooting effectively up close.
An attacker armed with a big knife is definitely dangerous. However, unrealistic theories spouted by complacent people who don't train or practice what they preach are even more deadly.
Train hard, be smart, stay safe,