I agree with Hawkeye...for under a grand, i would go with the Ruger. I personally dont like any design that strays from the series 70 model, like external extractor on the Sigs or the Schwarz fps on the Kimber IIs.
For between 1000-1500, I would go with the higher end Springfields, STI, or the cheapest Baer. Dan Wesson was a good value until it became overpriced.
For over $1500, any of the semi-custom 1911s, Baer, Brown, Wilson, Nighthawk, etc.
here's the obligatory gun porn pic