New to these types of rifles.
I have never owned an assault type rifle and have decided now is the time to invest in one. I have decided on the AR format and have a few questions. I would like open sites and a standard (not railed) forearm. However, I would like to have the opportunity to mount optics should I choose to. It would be a scope and not some of the more exotic stuff. I know such uppers exist, but what would be the best configuration? I'm impressed by Daniel Defense, though only because a buddy speaks highly of his. Any thoughts? My price range is no higher than 1,200$. What manufacturers, models etc would y'all suggest, and why?
I very much appreciate y'alls feedback.
Be Well & God Bless,