I have drank the Kool Aid...I picked up my first 1911 today. I went to a local pawn shop (it's actually 90% gun store, but they still call themselves a pawn shop) today looking unsuccessrully for a revolver that actually feels good in my hand. Toward the end of the case was an almost-new-looking Rock Island Armory 1911 A1 compact in 45 ACP. Priced irresistably at only $350, possibly due to the fact it only came with one magazine. I pulled through a local Wal Mart and picked up a box of Remington UMC FMJ and to the range I went. It has quite a kick due to the short barrel, but not un-managemble. I wouldn't try hitting much past about 15 yards with any real accuracy, but at 10 yards I was able to get more or less on target with groups under 6" which is good enough for me. But I had several fail to loads and looking at my targets several rounds went through sideways. Upon dissassembly, it was VERY dirty, more so than I would have expected from the 50 rounds I ran through it, so I'm guessing the pawn shop never bothered cleaning it beyond what you can see just pulling back the slide. It's small enough to carry if I were so inclined. I think it may have aftermarket grips on it, as they appear to be real wood, rather than the synthetic ones most new guns come with these days. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's not perfect, but for the price I don't really expect it to be either.