Don't pass up the M16 series of 5.56mm weapons based on old predjudices. On a deployment for training in Honduras in 1990 we worked with a Honduran Battalion that had very old beat up M16A1s. They didn't look the best, but they still worked. The most that was wrong with them was cosmetic. Some had broken springs on the dust cover (and it flopped around) of the dust covers were missing entirely (lost the little half moon clip that held the hinge rod in place.
They didn't look the best, but just like the "legendary" AK they fired every time.
I've carried the M16 for 25 years in every environment from the arctic to the desert and I can say that it has received a lot of undeserved bad press when comes to reliability. A very small amount of daily maintenance will keep them functioning fine.
Parts, magazines etc are available throughout most of the world just like with the AK and you don't have to hump that heavy 7.62 ammo.