Build one. It's not hard. If you have any kind of mechanical ability, you can assemble an AR. I can't do much for you with your laws, but if you are interested, PM me and I can fill you in more.
Shop around. Everyone wants M-4's lately, sometimes you can find a hell of a deal on used A2-style barrels and stocks.
You don't need to do as much as people say to keep an AR running. If it comes to the point where you have to clean the gas tube that much to keep the rifle running, you need to replace the gas tube. AR pistols have a stodgy reputation for reliability. Some work, some don't. I would personally avoid them, but YMMV.
"Do you trust who I trust? Me, myself, and I...."