What option did you land on, Rich? Honestly, I can't picture you not rocking at least a mid-range gun. Hell, the new boutique makes have pushed WC, Baer and Nighthawk down into the new midrange, although their prices haven't changed. Shit sakes! What a rabbit hole. Although I am in absolutely no danger of owning a Yost, or a gun made by the renowned Mr. Burton, I still hope to one day get a 1911 made by Wilson or Nighthawk. Those guns can be found used for around 2k or new for 6k+. Now the newer guys like Alchemy, Atlas and Cabot (eek!) are selling guns in the range approaching the world's best full house custom builds. Speaking of, I know where you can score an Heirloom for 13.5k; it's dropped $1,500 in the past couple weeks its been up. That guys book is 3-4 years out if you order today.

All that said, I wanted to move up after completely de-miming my Kimber. I watched and waited. It's all about the patience with this secondary market. Plus, thanks to FJB, it's a buyer's market. Ammo is almost back to pre-pandemic prices and is plentiful (In spite of the govt trying to put the fucks to our supply). and guns can be had right if you watch. I'm not married to the idea of brand new; some people get off on that, but in this market, you can double or triple your money on the secondary market.

Like Freak said: DW all day long. To me, above that price is status in owning a name on the side of the gun. I can't think of anything those other guys offer that doesn't come stock on a DW.