There are options for cycling the slide one handed on a belt or other surface in the event of an emergency. Some advocate hooking the rear sight on the belt, heel, or other hard surface as you describe. Another method is to simply use the front sight blade to accomplish the same task. The most universal method is to simply use an edge of the ejection port.
As for checkering, that is the beauty of the 1911: everyone can have it their way. I am currently using a 20lpi checkered pistol on duty while my regular duty gun, with front and backstrap scallops, is having a Dawson rail installed. I find no functional difference in traction between the two textures, and the scallops are indeed easier on the hand. (Both were built by Hilton Yam, have endured high round counts, and are utterly reliable.)