In the price range you're looking at I'd definitely go with a Springfield. The 5" Fullsize/Government is a good gun and I carried one for about a year. For a carry gun, the Commander length (4.25") or Champion (4.00") are, IMHO, a slightly better option. They're just a little lighter but to me they ride much more comfortably, especially in an IWB holster. They still have a fullsize frame so mags, grips etc. are the same for the Commanders and Government models.

As far as sights: For a carry gun I prefer fixed sights & fixed night sights if available. Adjustable sights, in general, aren't as robust when it comes to getting knocked around. If it's a range or competition gun and shooting bullseye is important, then adjustables have their place but on my carry guns I like knowing that my sights aren't going to shift unless I deliberately adjust them.

Good luck figuring all this out. There's still long vs. short triggers and flat vs. arched main spring housings to decide on and each option will dramatically change the way the gun feels in your hand.
Jack