First off, congratulations on the decision to add the ultimate pistol to your arsenal.
John Browning was a master, and a God among men, who got this decision right the first time, around 1893, and it's still around today. For a reason!
I have had three Kimbers, I still have two of them, so I am somewhat biased.
My first ever 1911, and I can prove it because it has the swivel groove in the frame from the first or second time I took it apart and tried to "twist" the slide release back into place. Don't do that kids! LOL No one ever told me, so I made the classic NEWB mistake and marred the frame. I was going to re-blue it, but I wanted the proof that I did it, it keeps me humble when I look at my current 1911's...
I shot about 100 to 200 rounds every other week, payday weekend, with that Kimber Target II, for over two years. I don't know how many rounds I have put through it to be honest, but that weapon was reliable from the first day at the range.
I have put every type of on sale, or range, ammo through that weapon and it has always performed without problems or headaches.
After my first, I added their .22 Rimfire model, the perfect trainer that I still use today, and finally added the Raptor II from the Kimber Custom Shop that I carried for quite a while and shot the hell out of it. I ended up selling it for about $100 less than I paid for it, around two years later, and the only extra was a belt holster that I bought for it.
I have never had a problem with my Kimber firearms. I think they are probably the number one company out there turning out a "production" 1911 that has all the features that you would want, or need, in a carry or defense piece.
Matt's story is not uncommon among Kimber owners. I talk to people all the time that would buy another one in a heartbeat if they needed too.
I don't have any positive, real world experience with the Springfield - I know that they Quality Assurance has had it's highs and lows, as have most long time companies.
However, if I had to recommend a production 1911 to a friend or family member looking for the best bang for the buck, I would recommend Kimber hands down...