Someone above asked what my budget was, in my post I said $1,200. Can go up a bit if I need to.
I also like the Bushmaster AR-15, but honestly can't tell the difference between it and other AR-15's out there to justify the upcharge for the Bushmaster.
If that is the case, then BCM, Colt, Daniel Defense or Noveske are the ones to concentrate on (IMO... and I've tried a lot of the others before coming to that conclusion). Most of the other brands will be fine for plinking, paper punching or hunting things that can't hunt you back.
If I had to do it all over again, I'd shop around for a Colt 6920, put a decent red dot or holographic sight on it, sling it intelligently and then practice, practice, practice.