Patret, I am not a big AR/M16 fan. I hate the "twang", and always have.
But I own AR's, use them quite often, and have not had a malfunction in any of them in YEARS. I would gladly trust my life to their ability to function if I was denied an M14 for some reason. Thank God that isn't gonna happen anytime soon, though.
My current Stag Carbine fired over 1,000 rds of Wolf steel cased ammo in one afternoon, in temps way over 100f and the only malfunction stemmed from a melted polymer coated shell sticking in the chamber after a long cool down period. That was deep in the desert and very dusty/sandy.
The current batch of AR/M16 series rifles are light years ahead in the reliability category from their predecessors. 40+ years of evolution and development does that to a product.
My AR's all have "D-Fender" D rings which is the single best improvement anyone can do to theirs. The next most profound improvement is the MagPul follower and the MagPul PMag.
Mine work. All of my friend's work as well. I don't need to keep any guns around that don't work. I test guns until they fail, then figure out what made them fail and fix it. The main problem with the early M16's was ammo related (ball powder instead of stick powder). That problem was solved 40 years ago.
That said, nobody is trying to convince you to like, or use one. I used to HATE AR's and if you feel that way it is fine with me. But calling them "junk" is no longer correct.