I've been collecting Colt SAA's for over 40 years. I believe the 2nd generations were the finest ever made. Sorry to say the 3rds, except for some exceptions, I would not own. Parts for example weren't interchangeable for the first time. Just like the US cars from the mid 70's on up their quality control was deplorable, which is pitiful for such a fine company.
In the early 70's Colt came out with a line of percussions. They were beautiful and I even bought a '51 Navy that was cased with all accessories. I eventually traded it for a Colt Thunderer. Those guns were considered originals, but modern and even starting off their serial #'s where they had left off in the 1800's. Those were manufactured by Uberti and finished off here by Colt. All their models were excellent. Forgeries to make them look antique fooled many people.
Just for an example of performance, my friend bought a 3rd gen from the Colt custom shop around 12 years ago. At the time I was becoming weak and almost got one myself. The first time he shot it while attempting to eject his empties he was sliding the ejector rod along the channel and sliced his finger wide open. I've never seen that happen before. After he was bandaged he started to shoot again and after a couple of shots the cylinder jammed while he attempted to cock it. Turned out the loading gate loosened up and moved forward. When looking at that gun I noticed the poor quality of his wood grips and how bad the Colt medallion was counter sunk into them, which made them look like a cheap Chinese copy. That gun was sent to Colt for repairs. My other friend's ca. 1962 2nd gen Buntline had gorgeous walnut factory grips and had thousands of rounds put through it for 40 years without any problems.
I then purchased the only copy I ever had, which was a Colt Flat Top Target Bisley 44-40 from Cimarron(Uberti). I just didn't want to spend thousands on an original. It is surprisingly accurate and has a sweet action that's better than the newer Colts I've shot. It's been great shooting it for over 10 years.
If I were to buy another SAA that is the closet to the original I'd have to go for the USFA, but they are pricier and yet worth it. Everyone seems to love Rugers, which indeed is an excellent gun. Only problem is they don't feel like a Colt to me and without those 4 clicks as well I personally don't wish to own one. I know Ruger owners do get upset easily, therefore let me please apologize in advance. I do love all guns. But that's just me personally,though Gary Reeder's custom Rugers are very tempting and I think he can do something about those clicks. Guess I'm just too old to change.
Colt is now manufacturing their SA's again, as well as their New Frontiers. I hope they don't turn out like their cheap cowboy models. If they do then they should just close up shop and call it a day. Damn it I miss the old colts.
Here's a few Colts and a Cimarron. First is an only example of a factory converted Colt Bisley 32-20 mfg 1906, that was converted to a SAA. Sorry for picture quality.
Colt 1st gen 45LC mfg 1891 used by extra in Streets of Larado
Colt 2nd gen 45LC mfg 1969 Abercrombie & Fitch customized.
Cimarron Colt Bisley FlatTop Target 44-40