Thankfully due to the growth of 'cross over the last 10 years, you can find a # of great cyclocross bikes around that price range. What type of riding do you expect to do? Lots of racing? Grassy courses? A do-it-all bike?
Look at the poprad $1650 if you like steel and a versatile racer, or the redline conquest pro $1600 or the jamis nova pro at $1100 if you like aggressive, race-oriented bikes with nice 'cross features. The Kona Jake the Snake is another popular bike, at $1299.
Most bike manufacturers nowadays have the kinks worked out, but manufacturers like redline, trek, and kona have had models for a while.
Fit and intended purpose should be a big deciding factor in your choice. Lemonds tend to be long. The trek has big mud clearance. The Jamis is very nimble, quick steering. The Kona is more laid back. The redline is pretty "standard" in geometry. There are many other models -Scott, Surly, Bianchi, just to name a few.
I would find a local shop that has a few models, knows a lot about 'cross (if you intend to race) and try out the models. You can always upgrade parts, but the frame is what needs to fit and ride the way you like. Maybe go cheaper and then save some bones for a racewheel set?