Clint Smith, Thunder Ranch Guru, has an article in American Handgunner Personal Defense 2008 Special Edition Annual where he recommends a short list of self defense weapons. This is an instructor who has fired (and seen students fire) many, many brands and models of guns. In the 1911 category he recommends Les Baer, Wilson Combat, and the Taurus PT1911. That is pretty good company. He personally owns a Taurus PT1911.