I really enjoy alternately carrying my .45 STI Escort and Colt Defender. They are pretty much identical (intentional choice) in looks, feel, and operation. Had them both for several years now and really enjoy carrying and shooting them.
They're aluminum frame, so (relatively) a little lighter weight for carry. Being single stack .45's, they only hold 7-8 rounds, but, hey, it IS a .45 after all!
They're the short barrel (about 3.5 inch) officer frame type, which some people consider unreliable. I did have some problems with my STI Escort initially, but sent it back to them and they actually found and fixed a manufacturing defect, if you can believe that. Worked fine ever since. Never had any problems at all with the Colt Defender.
The STI Escort was a little on the expensive side, and it's out of production now. The Colt Defender was in the moderate price range I would say, and is still in production as far as I know. But I've been very happy with both purchases.
I would suggest trying to find a shooting range that has rental guns available of the type you're interested in, or find a friend (or ask around this great forum) who owns something like what you want and see if they would let you put a few rounds downrange with theirs.
Good luck in you search!