Originally Posted by curt1985
Sorry bro, I know this isn't what you are asking but just my .02. If you build it you can get way more for your money and have a crap load of fun.
I mostly agree.
If you know what you want
(which can be difficult with limited AR experience), building is ideal in the $700-1500 range. You can get everything you want at the right price, but you have to be well versed with regard to the products/materials/companies in question. Generally you won't go wrong with BCM or PSA for builds, and I also like a lot of the uppers available through AIM Surplus.
Many newbies see building as an imposing undertaking (it's not), which is understandable. If you're determined not
to build, I think Daniel Defense ($1200-1500) and PSA ($600-1100) are really tough to beat at their respective price points. I really don't think anything else is even on the radar.
Building can often save you a few bucks. More than anything else, you gain an appreciation for how your gun works. You'll probably have a better comprehension of all the details in question and will gain a great deal of confidence that you can quickly remedy any minor function issues that may emerge. This is the real value in building...personal preference, knowledge, confidence. And it's super easy, provided you know what you want.