I used to buy the DPMS free float varmint style for 40 bucks all day , good point on the gas block that's another 18 bucks.
I get what your saying about ARFCoM , personally I believe the entire marketing/forum "sponsorship" leads to tactics like this as competition is hyper-competitive.
Not condoning it but I will say that a near 7 year old transgression should be excusable given the recent track record of the company.
I'll see what sort of gas block handguard deal can be had this Black Friday / Cyber Monday and post back here.
Hey it is USA made , that's a plus right!?!?!
I smell Bacon