I would get a Series 70 style over a Series 80 style in a heartbeat.
I have a S&W tactical and it is series 70 (no firing pin block). The trigger was buttery smooth out of the box but I added a Wilson Combat spring kit to bring it down to about 3.5lbs.
Ruger also has 2 great 1911s in the market (the Commander is new this year) and both are series 70 also. It is probably the best bang for the buck in an American 1911 and can be had from $650-$850 depending on where you buy it.
You also can't go wrong with a Springfield. My friend has an Operator and the thing runs like a top.
Rather than buy one locally, just look online at some stores and see what they have, or even Gun Broker or Guns America. Find a locally dealer that will accept transfers and have the 1911 shipped to them. Then pay their transfer fee and fill out the paperwork. The interwebz makes things much easier.
Here is my review of my 1911. The second video is on the upgrades I've done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUwzusY-oMU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccXyQ-5BoKM
And for your viewing pleasure, here is my S&W with my buddy's Operator and a WW2 Remington Rand.