Arsenals start at $900 here in the Houston TX area. WASRs start at $500.
I have a Romanian SAR-1 (similar to WASR build quality, pre WASR rifle)and had an Arsenal SA M-7 Carbine (milled reciever). The Arsenal is a beautiful rifle and is the gem of the AK world. The fit and finish is like any US made firearm. With that said, my SAR-1 is just as accurate and reliable. I did have to install a newer Tapco G2 trigger group to the SAR-1 to remedy trigger slap, but the WASRs already have that trigger group so no problem. My SAR-1 is my go to rifle that I will never sell. I ended up selling the Arsenal because it was redundant.
If I was in your shoes buying a new first AK right now, I would shoot for one of Centurys PAP polish AKs ($750ish).
If you have the cash to buy an Arsenal, but the performance will not be different than the lower priced guns IMO. They will be prettier though.