If cost is not an issue, I'd find a nice 1960s Colt and send it to Heirloom Precision. I'd choose the Colt as the base gun for its modern materials, original G.I. specs, and simple, attractive rollmarks. I'd have Heirloom do the work, because they sweat every little detail to make the gun a piece of functional art.
I would avoid the "production custom" makers like Wilson, Baer, Brown, et al., not because they don't make excellent guns, but because the guns they make are designed to suit the preferences of 90% of the people, 90% of the time, and I'm not going to pay $3000 for gun that isn't exactly what I want.
For a gun at a more reasonable price, in the $800-$1000 range, I'd go Colt.
In the $600-$800 range, at the low end I'd say STI Spartan, and at the high end, Springfield RO.