Have you ever tried a non-magnifying red-dot or holographic sight? They're far faster and easier to use than iron sights, plus you can keep both eyes open while sighting in.
If you want to stick with iron sights and don't like the quality of flip-ups, they make rear sights that are exactly like the one on the carrying handle without the useless bulk of the carrying handle. That would lower your weight, still give you the exact same sight picture, and also allow you to add an optic in case you change your mind in the future.
Of course, if looks matter (and I'll admit they do to me too) then go with a carrying handle. Me, I think the carrying handle looks old-fashioned, but to each his own. That's the wonderful thing about the AR-15: it's infinitely customizable.
0331: "Accuracy by volume."