it didn't help that the military made a number of changes to the stoner design which caused serious problems early in the war. most of the guys that still maintain that the M16/M4 are a poor choice haven't seen seen what a modern stoner rifle can be.
That's a very valid point. It is also worth noting that the gentleman in question showed his depth of knowledge in conversation by referencing the Marine Corps Small Wars Manual, which was one of the first books about waging an effective counter-insurgency, and yet was still wedded to his belief in the superiority of the Garand.
That would make an interesting study of how combat veterans perceive thier weapons as superior, even as time and technology advance.
I reckon in 2060, I'll be sitting on a bar stool somewhere telling all comers about the superiority of the M-4A1 over these new fangled plastic plasma carbines.