I bought an AR a few years ago chambered in 6.5 Grendel, quality gun and I love it but its expensive to shoot, so I don't. With optic and magazines I've got around $2500 in it and I never shoot it. I recently bought a Palmetto State Armory AR in 5.56. Caught it on sale out the door with optic for $1,000. Its shot everything I've fed it from Tula to TAP. Its not necessarily what I would want if I earned my living kicking in doors but I'd want some new knees for that anyway. For a range gun, home defense rifle and a first rifle I think it would be hard to beat. Use the $500 extra for a case of ammo and a few magazines. Between now and Christmas I'd expect the sale to be back. Don't get me wrong I'd love a Larue or Daniel Defense but you don't need that to put holes in paper at the range.
A little government and a little luck are necessary in life; but only a fool trusts either of them.