From what I've read on some 1911 forums, the Norinco is a solid, heavy steal, good performing 1911. They have increased in value for top condition guns over the past few years. Most of the comments hold them as competent entry level 1911's. The knock is that there are very few in the US and not readily imported from Canada in quantity. Therefor, there seems to be a lack of customer support from the factory though there are comments stating that they are very typical 1911's so most gunsmiths can work on them.
Good luck with your choice. That's a heck of a price gap you're dealing with. Below is my new TLE I picked up today. I highly recommend this to you. It will be worth the money.