As far as inexpensive but reliable .45's.
RIA and Firestorm (Bersa) are the best options under $450.
What they lack in overall "refinement" they make up for in rock solid reliability and low price point. Cheap and inexpensive are not the same thing.
I own 1911s by several of the best know makers (Colt, Kimber, Dan Wesson, Springfield) and the RIA performs just as well as far as reliability and accuracy.
The Firestorm .45 is not as well finished as higher priced handguns but it is all steel, reliable and a solid performer that exceeds its low price IMO.
I own a lot of handguns many of which are thought of as high end firearms and I can carry basically anything I choose too, but I would not hesitate to carry either of these relatively inexpensive handguns.