Yes, from what I have read, Colt is considered the "standard", but that is just that... the standard.
You can do worse and you can do better.... but some claim that Colt is what everyone compares other AR's to as the standard. Why? Because Colt is the brand that has produced the AR for so darn long.
I'm not so sure that Colt should be deemed the "gold" standard, though. That implies that it is the finest grade of AR available....and I'm not so sure that anyone here or in any AR forum would agree with that.
I would be much more interested in Colt if they made the popular "midlength" system. (do they?)