At that price range, I'd also consider a wider variety of options. If you really want something traditional, the Colts these days are pretty good choices. Also check out the Springfield Range Officer.
If you want something that's been modernized a bit, look at the STI Trojan. I've got one in 9mm, and it's a phenomenal shooter, but you can get them in .45, .40, and .38 super as well. You might be able to find a used Dan Wesson at around $1200, which are great pistols.
You only take one shot at a time - make it count.