On the other hand, I figured we all knew the history of Colt rifles and why they're regarded as an industry standard.
Well, call me ignorant, but you "figured" wrong in my case. However, I am ready to be enlightened if you would just be so kind as to cite the empirical evidence proving that Colt is the "industry standard". I can appreciate djcantr's reservations concerning your blanket assertion without offering any supportive facts. I don't think that approach is especially helpful to the op in his quest to buy the "right" AR-15 rifle for him
. Oh, and not to worry. I don't have any "delicate sensibilities" to offend.
As to my recommendation, since the op stated that he is interested in a "match target competition" rifle, I say look at the Rock River Arms National Match A4. It comes with the Wylde chamber, the superb NM 2-stage trigger, a 20" long, air gauged, heavy match s/s barrel with a 1:8 twist and a detachable handle. The RRA rifle is relatively affordable (at least as compared to the Colt and other equivalent rifles), comes with a lifetime warranty and is guaranteed to shoot 3/4" MOA groups @ 100 yards.
I have competed in the Service rifle matches at Camp Perry and other sites and have found my RRA match rifle to be accurate, reliable and well-made.