I like to think of my Mil-Spec as a poor man's Operator. Back when I first began to modify it, the Springfield Operator was my influence. I heartily recommend a Springfield Mil-Spec to any shooter who is wanting to try the 1911 for the first time. Many renown gunsmiths willingly modify the Mil-Spec as a base gun for custom projects. The reason is simple. It's a good, solid and affordable 1911 that meets the specs of the platform.
I am an unabashed Colt fan, but Springfield seems to have tapped into the 1911 shooter's wants better than any other manufacturer. By and large, 1911 shooters tend to be traditionalists, even as they modify the original brainchild of Browning. Springfield avoided a firing pin safety by passing California drop tests with a titanium firing pin. They designed a locking system for the pistol that was easily and completely discarded by the owner if desired. Most of the common machine work requested on a true mil-spec 1911 has already been done to the Mil-Spec. Springfield did not make these choices by accident or for expediency. Add in a durable forged frame and slide with a price point and it is a near unbeatable choice at the gun counter for a first time purchaser.
I still have my first 1911, and I still enjoy shooting it too.