Under $400 new, reliable as heck (I've got close to 3k thru mine with no cleaning), and it doesn't need to be sent off for hundreds of dollars worth of custom work to make it "good" (what I always read in Gun mags growing up, which is why I resisted teh 1911 for so long...)
I carry a Colt Gold Cup, and love it except for the gay rear sight. I haven't really shot any other 1911's. Other than some 1945 manufactured 1911 from WWII.... It wasn't anything to write home about. If I buy another one it will be a cheap STI or a Wilson Combat frame that I build all the way up.
My vote is for Kimber. I had 2 Colts both series 70, 1 a gold cup the other gov model. I bought the Kimber when they first started making them and have loved it ever since. Most important, I shoot better with it than any of my other guns.