All things considered:
Cost of mags
Sights (I intend to shoot this with iron sights)
My understanding is that most DSA shoot 1.5 -2.5 MOA is this correct? Are there better built FAL's for about the same $$?
How accurate would a CMP M14 be? How much $ would have to go into it to bring it back to top shape - (not match) field.
Is a polytech M14 any good?
Over all - M14 or FAL?
(No I am not thinking about match applications)
Best place for this info is www.gunandknife.com in the M14 forum.
The Chinese M14s have a loyal following among their owners.
Plan to spend $35 each for magazines.
If I was to listen to my heart I'd buy an M1A. but my mind tells me to go with the FAL. Mags are cheaper, and to me that's the most important factor. Spare parts abound for both, but the FAL may have the advantage here too. Both of them are more than accurate enough to hit a person at any range you're shooting from, and both of them are so close to jam-proof it's not funny. The only mark against the FAL is its refusal to shoot CAVIM ammo, but since that's not the least expensive stuff any more it shouldn't be that much of a problem. It is for me because I have 2K rounds of it, and my M1A loves it.
I thought this particular horse had long since been beaten to death.