Cosmetics is actually only the beginning. Most Dan Wesson's can shoot right up their with the custom brand 1911's in terms of accuracy and it has been proven on several tests comparing them on 1911forum. In addition Dan Wesson actually sets all their triggers at 4.5 lbs and they break consistently clean with no creep. A typically Colt from my sample of over a dozen has so such guarantee.
Combine the mechanical accuracy of the Dan Wesson with a excellent trigger and someone who can actually shoot will in fact notice a difference. Because you cannot doesn't mean that another shooter will not.
In addition Dan Wesson uses tool steel parts for the fire control group, bar stock steel for the thumb safety and has no MIM parts. So quality of parts would also go to Dan Wesson.
I will say that the Wiley Clapp is probably the best carry 1911 that Colt has to offer and has a lot of features for the money.