Personally, I have always been a fan of the 1911 platform, for carry- Commander size or smaller. If you want inexpensive, but reliable & utilitarian- Rock Island. If you want one with all the bells & whistles and money is no option- Baer Custom or Kimber. Springfield is the middle of the road. There are a lot of other options, but these are the ones I have used and are familiar with. i carry an old Colt Combat Commander with a few modifications.
Stay away from the Chinese made knock offs, they are junk
Hope this helps