If this is your introduction to 1911's then it's not completely necessary to go out and buy a $1000+ Colt (although I did and would do it again). Don't overlook RIA's, Ruger's 1911 or Remington's. Out of those 3 I own the Remington and can tell you it's been 100% reliable so far. I've also heard nothing but great things about RIAs and the Ruger.
"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
- Samuel Adams