Actually, OP, the Armalite Company made the first AR-15s.
Due to a lot of political infielding, Colt got the military manufacturing
contract for the re-badged M-16, during the Vietnam "Police Action".(War)
That said, I love my Colt AR, but I have no experience with other
brands. You also might not like the A2 style, carry handle, no scope,
heavy barrel, etc. I find mine monstrously accurate, and the
bull barrel just stays on target, mag after mag. I would guess it's a bit
heavy, if you're not a big guy, however.