Thanks for the input guys!
Every single one of the brands recommended sound great... I've been considering the Springfield, S&W, Sig, Ruger, and Remington and a few others... BUT I keep going back to the Colt!
Something about the pony... My grandfather had one and I remember thinking it was the coolest gun ever. I've wanted one ever since.
That may not be the best reason to buy a certain gun, and I may not end up with a Colt... but it's something to consider.
Is it bad that I've already bought ammo for a gun / caliber I don't own yet, hahaha!?
As far as the leather ... check my sig line (shameless plug).