I did months of research before dropping $750 on a 1911.
I got the Kimber Custom II. I would rank it just as good or better than many other 1911's in the beginner category.
Colt is the orginal 1911 they are great guns. but you pay more for the name as well.
Doesn't matter if you get a $700 1911 or a $2500 Nighthawk custom 1911 your going to love it. I have heard too many quality control issues with the Taurus 1911 to get one of them.
What ever you do invest in QUALITY mags. I only use Wilson Combat mags with the polymer follower. Tripps are good too and receive high praise