I like the MINI-14. Mine (the wife's actually) shoots just fine.
Go to Walmart and get a Colt M4 or similar. It would be fine too.
I always say, figure out what you need, then what you want, and then save to get it. $600 rifle today, or $900 rifle in April, the $300 may make a big difference.
If you find your back is up against a wall, maybe you have been backing up for too long.