I have AR's from Bushmaster, Olympic, S&W, Delton(DTI), RRA, CMMG, homebrew, and even a COLT. For 99% of the users, any of them will suffice.
I'm not so young myself and don't put much stock in logo ego.
My constant wintertime companion is a Delton and it's never let me down. Out side every day. Snow, cold, wet or whatever comes-it still looks good and shoots as well as I would expect from a 16" w/1-5x scope.
Midway USA has a special on a 16" carbine upper that ships to your door. Pick a namebrand lower and push the pins in and you're ready to go. Unless your eyes are holding up better than mine, you should go for a flattop so you can mount optics.