I bought a Taurus Millenium Pro PT111 Gen 2 in 2006 that hasn't given me any trouble other than the break in period where the slide occasionally wouldn't quite chamber a round here and there. After a couple hundred rounds that cleared up and I have no real complaints. Decent pistol if you don't mind the DAO trigger. It has the older three dot sights instead of today's Heinies and the price was right at $269 back then.
But even though I have two Tauruses that haven't given me trouble I hate to recommend Taurus since many others have had trouble. I'd look at the SR9 since today there isn't much difference in price and you can expect good things from Ruger.
The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together.
US Army 1966-69, VFW Life Member, Retired Geek