I have one, with the Apex DCEAK setup in it. I like it.
I am not as accurate with it as my favorite 1911, but am plenty accurate for self-defense. A 4" group at 15 yards vs a 2.5" group at 15 yards is well within my personal standard for 'save my butt' accuracy.
I am completely comfortable with it as a nightstand gun, or an open carry [if it were legal here] gun for me. I have NO qualms about its reliability.
I liked it better than the Glock for two major reasons: grip angle and grip dimensions. The M&P is closer to the 1911 or Hi Power grip angle, which I am used to, and the Glock feels wrong in my hand. Also, I find the small backstrap makes it more comfortable and easier to control/handle than the Glock Gen 3. I am in california, so I can't get the Gen 4 glocks.
Overall, it is one of my 'keepers'. I am more accurate with it than I was with the Sig P220 or H&K USP.45 compact [both of which I sold] by at least 2" better group sizes at 7 yards.
Is it a 1911? No. Or it would be a M&P 1911. Is it perfect? I doubt it. What is perfect? Is it reliable? In my experience: yes. Is it accurate? Enough for self-defense for me. For bulls eye competition at 50 yards? Probably not. Then there is the more subjective: How does it feel in my hand, how does the trigger feel to me, now do I like the look? Those last three are something everyone has to decide for themselves.
Would I recommend it? Yes. With the qualification that the purchaser feel one and the trigger BEFORE buying it. Sight-Unseen? I don't recommend anyone buy a self-defense gun that they've never held in their hands [model, that is]. If you have felt a 1911 and liked it you could order any makers' 1911 and probably be happy. If you've never felt it you should try it out.
Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin. Its the triumphant twang of a bedspring.