There are a lot of brands and differing opinions about 1911's. The feel of a 1911, regardless of brand, is excellent, as the weight nicely offsets the power of a 45 bullet.
From personal owner experience, I suggest a Springfield Armory piece. For about $900-1200, the SA guns offer great features and excellent build quality. Their "Loaded" model was my first 1911 purchase.
Besides SA, you can never go wrong with a Colt. From the manufacturer that practically invented the gun, Colt's are always highly sought-after and hold their value very well. From their ~$1000 Defender model on up, a Colt is a perfect choice.
If you really want to get crazy, Wilson Combat makes probably the best (and most expensive) custom 1911's, ranging from about $2800 on up. While I don't have a Wilson, nearly as good is my Ed Brown Special Forces - amazing gun, but quite an amazing price too, about $2500!