Effective cost of DIY builds vs Quality
First, I did a quick search and didn't see a topic quite on track with my question. So I apologize if this is a dead horse.
I'm thinking about building an AR, not solely for cost sake, but as an engineer I love understanding how things work internally. However, it appears that one can build a no frills AR for about $700 from places like PSA. I know S&W sells a cheaper model for fun. My question is, on a good, respectable kit like one from PSA, what would the gun retail for if it was a normal stock model? Meaning, is the quality of these DIY kits the same as the S&W sport or are they better parts? As I am an electrical engineer, some of these mechanical parts escape me, such as, what makes a higher quality gun? Is it just the quality of the materials, or is there a better fundamental design in the more expensive ones?
Sorry for the long post, but I would appreciate some insight, and any tips that you may have for a feller contemplating a DIY build.