It's frustrating, Barry. I carry a Vz.82 in 9X18 Makarov, but it's not legal in IDPA.Well.....
My opinion regarding IDPA (and IPSC) is to use the gun you carry everyday, carried the same way you carry it.
But it appears that I may be in the minority there.
I guess if I were going to buy a gun today to shoot in a match tomorrow, I'd try to find a SA Loaded. I also think an out of the box Colt will perform to the abilities of 98% of the shooters out there.
I doubt you can find a new Colt for the money you are talking, but could probably get a used one for that. You might get the SA for that.