Thanks again for all the responses to my inquiry about STI 1911's. As a result of your input and the online reviews I found, I have placed my order with Desert Eagle Guns in Globe, AZ.
The shop owner spoke with STI yesterday (10/19) and the factory says it should be to him in 2 weeks. As soon as it is in, I'll be on my way to Globe which is only about an hour from home.
I haven't been this excited about a handgun purchase is more years than I care to count. I really only plan on this being a range gun as my CCW is a Sig P226, but after shooting a 1911 at my local range last week, I had to have one. My last 1911 was an Officer's model Colt and I ended up selling it because I just didn't enjoy shooting it. That was back around 1984 and I'm not the same shooter that I was then. Time, practice and some good training do make a difference.
I think part of the problem was a compact 3 inch barrel just doesn't absorb much recoil.
Bottom line, a full size 1911 STI Spartan is coming my way.
Initial impressions and range report to follow.
And no, I can't get this silly grin off my face!