Rock Islands aren't pretty that's for sure. Lot's of other guns with better finishes, but not at their price point. The Rock Island Tactical is one heck of a gun though and they have outstanding customer service if you do have a problem. Lifetime warranty that follows the gun not the owner. Can't say that for some of the "pretty" 1911 manufacturers at 2 and 3 times the price. IDOL is right about magazines making a difference. Not all guns will run better with a Wilson but if you do have a problem check magazines first. The lack of an OEM mag for 1911's has created a situation where some guns run better with certain Magazines. It is hard to go wrong with Wilson ETM's, Tripp Research or Chip McCormick magazines though.
Another "Budget" 1911 worth looking at is the STI's Spartan line. They are basically customized RIA's for only a bit more. Dawson Precision has the commander and fullsize Spartan's for $635. If you are at all interested in the action pistol sports a 5" STI Spartan would be a good place to start.
All that being said If you want to spend the money there are a lot of nicer 1911's out there. I think for under $1000 it's really hard to beat a SIG 1911 if you don't mind the external extractor or the out of spec slide on their non-traditional models. Forged slide and frame, Front strap checkering, carry bevel, only 2 mim parts, Stainless steel, combat sights, for $900! Hard to beat!