I'll have to weigh in on the side of the M14 being an excellent weapon, but not so hot as a modern battle rifle. When I first joined up we still had a few Vietnam Veterans serving here and there, and among active duty guys that carried an M-14 in Vietnam I never heard a single one say they preferred it to the first gen M-16s. To a man, they all said the M-14 was "as accurate as a 16", but that it was heavy as hell, slower on target, and that the basic ammo load was limited due to weight/size of the round. It was generally felt that the first M-16s only needed to be cleaned regularly to remain trouble free, that they were light and fast to line up, and the instability of the old ball ammo made it a decent stopper, too (later changed, of course). I carried an M-21 in school (accurized M-14 with match-grade components and ammo) and used the first gen M-16s on a contract in Latin America. And I agree with everything the old guys said about the 14 in 'Nam, from my own personal experience. Again, the M-14 is an excellent weapon, but it ain't no modern battle rifle, in my humble opinion. They've pulled the M-21s out again in the sandbox and they're perfect for long range shooting in the desert as a squad designated marksman weapon. But it won't match the accuracy of the tactical bolt guns currently in use, as a pure sniper weapon system. Nor does it serve as well as the 16A2/A3/M4 in jungle or woodlands combat. Speaking to the OP's delimma, I would take the FNAR over the others mentioned, as a main battle rifle/SHTF rifle. Based on what I've read or heard from owners, and from my own experience, it appears to be the superior weapon with respect to reliability, accuracy, fit and finish, and weight/feel. As someone mentioned, an FAL clone might be a better MBR (accuracy isn't as good as the FNAR, though), but it wasn't one of the original choices.