I think we're going to see very fast progress on energy weapons from here on out. They're able to maintain precise targeting from a boat to another boat a mile away, which is what's needed at current power levels. Still, I'm hoping someday laser weapons will shoot out little bursts of light in different colors that travel slow enough to see while making "byoooo byoooo" sounds.
I wondered the same thing -- and I wonder about the difference between being killed by a bullet and being killed by a laser... would the pain be the same? I've never been killed by either, but if I had a choice, I think I'd rather go for the Free Electron Laser than a bullet.
I have this impression that being killed by a laser might not be as painful. There would be no force or bruising. I know that exit bullet wounds look much worse than entrance wounds. The laser would either cut you in half, or leave a freaky cartoon hole, which might be cauterized.