I'd also look at some Colt ARs while you're shopping. Colt is the standard by which all the others are measured. Colt's have been proven since 1963 and are the best of the best. :wink:
You'd be surprised how fast the money adds up when you buy a quality AR and add optics and furniture to it. While $2500.00 sounds like a lot of $ it really isn't.
I've got two Colt 6940's ($1500 each) with Magpul CTR Stocks ($95.00), Aimpoint T1 red dot sights ($650.00), Aimpoint Comp M4S red dot sights ($756.00), Magpul FUG (Forward Universal Grips ($107.00), LaRue Tactical two point slings ($70.00).
Then add in 5.56 ammo, for practice and for self defense. 1,000 rds. of .223 for $450.00 if/when you can find it since Obama's been re-elected.:frown:
So as you can see, what seems like big money for a great AR shrinks really quickly.