1911's, in general, cost more than mainstream polymer handguns mostly due to material cost. However, that's not to say a good 1911 can't be had for the same price. High Standard makes a commander-sized 1911 for $500ish. No bells or whistles, but it's a solid, bare-bones 1911.
[Edit] As far as carrying goes, it's really a matter of personal preference. DAO/decocker users typically say safeties are just an additional point of failure and will cost you valuable time if you forget to disengage it. SAO/cocked-and-locked users typically say having lacking a safety is uncomfortable and dangerous. The truth is, either of these methods work. You should choose which one better suits you.