I had an SA M1A Scout Squad with composite stock. I had to sell it because of financial issues, otherwise I would still have it. It was a soft shooter, accurate and handled beautifully. You can't go wrong with one. Ammunition is still available although a bit pricey.
I had a DSArms FAL before the M1A, and it was also an excellent rifle. However, CA required a fixed mag because of the pistol grip and evil features.
I perceived the recoil to be a bit harsh and I'm not particularly recoil sensitive. It just wasn't fun to shoot. The M1A in contrast was a pleasure to shoot both for recoil and ergonomics.
I am not an AR guy, so I have zero input for you there.
My current battle rifle is a 1943 Springfield M1 Garand. It's a shooter for sure and an accurate and honorable old warhorse. It's heavy, and limited to eight rounds, but I would stake my life on it.
I don't know if this helps any, but I enjoyed writing it.