First, what kind do you have in mind? A 20 inch barrel with built in carry handle like you had, or a better more modern style with a heavier barrel and a flat top that is easy to mount flip up sights and optics? You can also go with a 16 inch barrel.
I strongly suggest you buy a flat top version. If you really want a carry handle, there are detachable carry handles that you can buy to go on a flat top. However, you still have the option of mounting a scope down lower than you possibly can with a carry handle, and lower is more comfortable by a long shot.
The first AR I bought was a DPMS and I'm glad I did. I didn't know much about the AR when I bought it I just wanted a varmit rifle I didn't have to work the action on.
If you look around the forums people seem to have problems with the cheaper rifles so i would get a decent one, it will save you money in the long run.
If you are looking to save money go to a gun show and buy a lower. A DPMS around here are going for $235-$260. Then in a month or so get an upper. They are anywhere from $300 to $1000 or more depending on what you get. But you can spread the cost out.
My first was a Bushmaster patrolmen carbine with the heavy barrel. It will shoot about 1.5-2 MOA I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind but it is the one that I have and if works very well 300-400 rounds fired at a time with only user errors to blame for the 1 fail to feed and that was because I got cocky and didnt rack the bolt all the way back. Other than that had no problems. http://www.impactguns.com/store/604206072221.html
I did put a Bushnell Banner fixed 4x32 scope on it and its been good ever since. [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Banner-Dusk-Dawn-Riflescope/dp/B0000A0AGX]Amazon.com: Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4x32 Riflescope: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]
Now I'd like to build Mk12 but thats goina have to wait until I get the funds again.
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