I have owned, handled and shot a slew of firearms working behind a gun counter for many years. I've personally owned a Taurus DT1911, Sig C3 and Springfield Loaded Stainless ( and loved them all ).
Taurus tends to get a sub-par rap, but I had no reason to complain at the price point I was able to get mine for. I still would recommend them for anyone just starting out and would like to stay within a smaller budget.
My Springfield ( which I still own ) has been superb. I love the look of the full length guide rod but needing tools to break it down is slightly inconvenient. When I clean my firearms I go all out; I dim the lights, light some candles and turn on Barry Manilow or Michael Bolton. Making sure I have an allen key around is pretty petty. I did switch out the smooth wood grips for some Kryptek grips from VZ but other than that, she's been a dream. Full figured, full steel track driver with zero malfunctions to date. ( 700-800 rounds ).
The Sig C3 opened my eyes on how versatile the 1911 platform could be. After giving it my normal frog lube treatment ( my preferred lubricant by far. Get on it! ), it was the smoothest action I had ever felt. With the GI guide rode, I could have it disassembled and ready to shoot in 60 seconds. The Frankenstein frame/slide combo was ideal for carry but the officer frame was JUST too short for my liking. I LOVED the look of the commander length slide and although my lanky, gorilla hands fit on the grip, getting that grip wasn't a natural process. The Sig C3 left my heart hurting but it's an awesome firearm.
I had long been looking at the Smith and Wesson PC1911 4.25" to replace my Sig C3 but then I discovered the offerings from Dan Wesson. I couldn't get any range time with either, so I fondled them as often as I could and probably longer than the local gun shop associate was comfortable with. Although I still have unsettled feelings about the Smith, the Dan Wesson Guardian has been burying those feelings quickly. I could go on about the fit, the finish, the grips, and yada yada yada but those tangibles are only part of what makes this gun special. Don't get me wrong, all of those things are amazing. But to me, this ( and MAYBE with the Valor as well ) could be the BEST bang for your buck commander 1911's out there. Anyone who knows 1911's also knows you don't always get what you pay for ( sometimes more, sometimes less ) and that after a certain point, you see extremely diminishing returns. ( a $2000 1911 is rarely twice as good as a $1000 1911, from my experience ).
The alternate colored night sights ( my rear is yellow while the front is green ), the amazing stippling on the front AND on the grips ( yes, the black part on the grips is stippled and provides very positive traction ), the "duty style " finish, Ed Brown parts and the tender love & care of a good hand fitting..... You usually don't get that kind of treatment under $2500-$3000. But for $1400? I buy this gun again if I had to do it over. And again. And again.
Note: My thumb safety and barrel bushing were both extremely tight upon arrival but after 300 rounds, they've both worn in perfectly. The safety is positive with no fear of false engagement and the bushing is very snug but I can still break it down with just my hands.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]