I too just bought my first AR - a DPMS 'post ban' A-15. I went searching for a Mini-14 but a local gun store was closing out all of their postban ARs in anticipation of receiving a whole slew of 'no-ban' rifles. While Ihad heard of DPMS before I never handled one of their rifles. However, as a veteran of 23 years in the Army I have handled/carried/shot/maintained hundreds of M-16A1s & A2s (the first M-16 I was ever issued down at FT Bragg was stamped "Colt AR-15/XM-16". This was in 1980. God knows what that old gal had been through by the time I got my hands on her). The DPMS immediately impressed me by the quality of the finish - both the metal work and even-ness of the teflon coating - and the fit of the components. I was surprised at how 'right' the AR felt at my shoulder - again, the result of a 23 year relationship. The price was right and she came home with me. The rifle came with two DPMS postban 10 round magazines and the dealer threw in one 30-rounder.
A quick stop by WallyWorld for ammo. Our local store currently stocks Winchester 55 gr made in Israel. Probably IMI mil-surplus M193. The price is amazing - 40 rd boxes for $7.30.
Off to the range (Bob's Custom Firearms in Palmetto, GA - just a crass commercial plug for a great guy). I followed DPMS' break-in procedure and at the end was getting sub-1" three round zero groups on the 25 yard zero target. Considering my old eyes, iron sights and a not-quite-broken in barrel I'm happy.
What struck me was the number of other shooters who stopped by just to 'talk AR'. A few even took up my invitation to send a few rounds downrange. One fellow watched me do the old 'fire a round, shotgun the rifle, clean the bore' routine while I put the first 10 rounds through it, and he came over with an AR chamber guide and said, "No use taking the chance of messing up a new barrel and chamber. Use this!" All in all a great couple of hours with a great bunch of guys.
My initial impression of the DPMS? Very good! About 100 rounds were fired today with no failure to feed except for the first round from the fully loaded 30-round magazine - that's a magazine problem, not a rifle problem. The rifle exhibits good accuracy and I expect it to improve a bit as the barrel gets broken in. The chromed bold carrier seems to be roughly fininshed. It still had a lot of machining marks on it. Ejection was good and primer strikes were all centered. Ejected brass all landed within a 4' diameter circle about 6' from the rifle.
I have two minor issues with the A15. First is the rear sight assembly. Functioning was good, but the entire sight assembly sits on a spring loaded base and is slightly canted to the left due to spring pressure. This was easy to adjust for but still it's annoying. I understand this problem can be eliminated by installing National Match sights, and I may do just that. The other issue is the fact that this rifle is very muzzle heavy. It's a 20" heavy barrel model, so this is to be expected. I know lead weights are available to insert in the stock and it looks like one of those are in order.
All in all, I'm very pleased. I have reestablished a relationship with an old friend, acquired a fine shooting rifle and am now the proud owner of something that gives Diane Finestein and Chuck Shumer the willies - that's gotta' be good!