The AR-7's a perhaps the worst excuse for a .22, No amount of fixing can turn them into a good gun. Just to many inherent designs issues to fix em all even if you can get em to run reliably. For decades I eye'd them thinkin they were cool too. But when it came down to buying and actually using the POS any cool factor went away quickly.
Best value is the 10/22's. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive but still the best value.