So along comes Big Country Expat, someone who has loads of actual, real life experience with lots and lots of firearms and actually using those firearms for something other than shooting steel targets. His latest post, Sunday Late Night and Rifle BS, looks at the real differences between a "budget" Palmetto State AR and a super high end Daniel Defense AR.
I will let you read his conclusion for yourself but suffice it to say I trust his word a lot more than some prissy dude of indeterminate sexual orientation on Youtube.
For me, as long as you stay clear of some of the real junk, any mid-range AR is "good enough" for the vast majority of us. I have seen guys with basic shotguns on the sporting clays range blow away guys with the super expensive shotguns. The same holds true with AR-15s. There are a couple of brands I stay away from and I have the advantage of getting dealer prices on higher end stuff but I think that the brands I consider "mid-tier" are as good as all but a tiny percentage of us really need. I will go so far as to say you can get the rifle you need for under a grand and spend the money you saved on not buying the super high end stuff can be invested in a quality red-dot or LPVO. Sure it is cool to have a Daniel Defense of Sons Of Liberty Gunworks AR and if you have a lot of extra money, why not, but most of us can get reliable and accurate for a lot less.