For the price you listed, take a look at the Taurus 1911. The reviews I have read indicate this is a good value. A former co-worker who is a 1911 fan bought one and commented that it is better than some of his higher dollar colts and custom guns.
Try to locate a range that has rental guns and throw a few bucks down and try each. Inexpensive invest before buying a gun you will not be happy owning and likely will not shoot.