I wasn't a fan of the leather one. It felt kind of sharp along the edges with any weight on it, and as you mentioned, it's more prone to cosmetic issues. I ditched it and wear the nylon one daily, even if I'm not carrying for some reason.
I haven't tried carrying 8lb on it, but it doesn't warp or twist with my Beretta on it. It's quite rigid. It doesn't let the gun flop about, which was a problem for me with other belts because Berettas can be a bit top heavy.
The adjustments on it are nice. You can loosen it slightly when you...
KORE Essentials makes a heavy duty gun belt that I use. It has a ratcheting system so you can make small adjustments to its tightness. Holds up a Beretta M9A1 and spare magazine fairly comfortably -- as far as lugging around a full-size Beretta goes, at least.
I'm only 26, and I would still look at my younger self weirdly. I wish I would have had the confidence to pick up a guitar sooner, to work on myself a bit more instead of just using escapism of some sorts, be more responsible for myself, etc.