IMO if you are nervous about dropping a ton of money on a gun that may malfunction, start small. I would pick up a Rock Island Armory 1911 first, they run between 350-400 and they are very close to the original design of the 1911. They have out of the box reliability, great customer support from Armscor, and won't break the bank. If it isn't as pretty as you'd like, you can take the other 400-800 dollars and invest in making the gun better. Its a great starter 1911 that will let you know if you like 1911's or not. If not then there are plenty of people that would love to buy it off your hands.