In TOS, the phasers emitted a continous beam for as long as the trigger was depressed, and it either de-materialized something, or at a lower setting, stunned living organisms. In the movies, it changed to a "pulse" not unlike in Star Wars, and suddenly went from de-materializing (STII) to being able to blast a person backward some 15 feet (STIII). Later it could melt holes through people, and de-materialize selected objects with selected densities (STVI). In Nemesis, the pulses were longer in duration, and de-materializing seemed to be no longer possible at all as a function. In the newest flick, the pulses shortened to an almost bullet-sized burst. Are you happy with it's evolution? Do you long for a standard from any particular incarnation? Do you care at all, or is it just "gun" to you?