^Could you please expound as to why external extractors make a hand gun inferior? Also, $1300 is suggested retail. I have never paid retail for a gun. I have not personally shot the Taurus but have heard good things about it. That being said I have owned 4 S&W guns over the years and have never had problems with any of them.
Not knocking S&W, I really like their M&P series, owned a few. Had an old Sigma, etc. It's not the brand, it's the extractor. The weapon just wasn't designed for/with one. Kimber fucked up a LOT of 1911s with externals where they had to go as far as replace the pistol (or at least the slide) to get them to function correctly. As far as how that effects the S&W, I don't know. It was designed and served countless thousands of USGIs over the years with internals, why change it?
To me, a 1911 isn't a viable modern weapon, it adds no benefit and has a lot of downsides when compared to a well built modern pistol. Given that, if I were to buy another 1911, I would want it to look like a 1911 should. I view the 1911 like a '69 Chevelle, it's going to take a lot of time/money to get it to perform/handle like a modern sports/muscle car; that's all fine and good, but would you ever put 3 Spoke Enkeis on a '69 Chevelle? Just because it works for some platforms, doesn't mean it does for all.
Also worth mention here is the pricetag, the $1,300 figure is for the most expensive one and it's the MSRP. Most pistols sell for well under MSRP and at $919, you can probably get them down to $750 or so, that's not a bad deal at all.
BTW, the Taurus is fantastic for the price.