Despite my preference for the 1911 thus far in this discussion, and originally, I of course really appreciate the other two most popular options, the SAA and the M&P.
There are a lot of opinions in this thread, but one thing is for sure, in my collection, I have all of the bases covered regarding the options in this thread. I even have a glock 19, but I won't bother with a pic of that :P
1911s and variations from Colt
AMT Hardballer 45 long slide, withOUT laser sighting
Here are my Colt SAAs and clones (ok I know the Rugers had some improvements, but they were based on SAAs) Top right - Colt 2nd buntline 45 , middle right, 1967 2nd gen SAA 45, bottom right New Frontier 22/22mag buntline convertible. Upper left, all 3 screw guns and unmodified, Ruger Superblackhawk 44 mag, middle left, 1968 357 blackhawk, bottom left, 1965 41 mag blackhawk.
My S&W M&Ps, two are 32-20 and all are pre war, except the Victory model. The Victory is in its original 38 S&W cal. All the rest are 38 special. DOM in this photo ranges from approx 1915 to approx 1942.
I also have some pre war M&P Targets (predecessor to the K-38 masterpiece and later the model 14). The two top guns are 1905 M&P first change M&P targets (scarce), SN 106XXX and SN 115XXX. Then there are two 1905 4th change M&P targets, SN 456XXX and SN 623XXX, bottom.