Any holster can cause scratches if you don't keep it clean, though leather (especially lined leather) tend to hold dust, dirt, and sand more readily than the plastic holsters.
Over time, leather holsters tend to become more comfortable, because it will form to your wearing location and adjust to the curves. Kydex and other non-leather materials tend to keep their original form. I prefer leather to Kydex/plastic, though I also have some of the Blackhawk holsters that I usually wear as a paddle.
I have some 1911 holsters (full-size and Commander) from Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen, Galco, Bianchi, DeSantis, and some off brands. Some are IWB, some are belt holsters / OWB, some are paddles. The Sparks & Rosen holsters are excellent, but they tend to be expensive, and fully boned custom holsters frequently have wait time measured in months. However, Brownell's and some other catalog / online vendors have ready-to-sell units available (the Rosen holsters are the "Express" line ... not completely boned, but fit, carry, and retention are all as good as it gets for that style of holster.
For "off the shelf" leather, OWB, I like the DeSantis holsters a lot. They cover the gun from the tip of the hammer all the way to the muzzle. They fit well, hide well (as well as an external full-sized gun is going to hide), and get comfortable in a fairly short time.
The Galcos are pretty nice too, so are the Bianchis ... nuts ... they're all pretty nice, I just prefer the DeSantis (Speed Scabbard, OWB), Sparks (Summer Special, SSII, IWB), and Rosen (OWB, uses wrap straps instead of slots ... easy to put on and take off without having to unbuckle).
Galco, IMO, makes some great shoulder rigs. I have a Jackass and "Miami Vice" and love 'em both. If you go that route, get the off-side ammo/mag pouches (acts as a counterweight and balances the rig better), and (I recommend, they're not mandatory) use the tie downs, both sides.
Good Luck. Get a few and try 'em out ... everyone's built different, so different holster systems fit some people better than others.
Last edited by scottmac; 08-24-2012 at 04:48 AM.