Okay, I've been researching the best set-up for my ultimate AR rifle. It's obvious that it will have to be custom built, but here are some examples of the frustrations I'm facing:

I watched some "meltdown" videos online. The POF upper lasted for over 2500 rounds and at the lower spectrum a Faxon melonite barrel completely burned out at 440 rounds. Honestly, I could never afford to shoot that many rounds at one sitting unless the SHTF and every Chinese, Korean, and Iranian were attacking America all at once. But, the extreme differences sent me on a quest - andt he more I read and watch videos, the more confused I get.

Low end companies selling budget kits are said to be using FN barrels, who as I understand, supplies the military with their barrels. Why would a company put a military barrel on a budget gun? If melonite cannot take sustained fire, how come so many people are singing its praises?

I watched a video on a Sionics barrel. After singing the praises of the 1 x 8, chrome lined, medium contour, the reviewer says the barrel is excellent "for what it is." For what it is??? I was sold on that until the reviewer said "for what it is." A POF upper alone is $1500. I want something that can take abuse, but my pocket won't take that kind of abuse. So, who does make a barrel with a life span of 8 to 10,000 rounds with a chrome bore so that it can take sustained fire for the just in case?

At what point do you get out of "entry level" barrels and get top tier stuff? Please don't tell me BCM. They cannot even afford a phone to interact with customers.

Then there was the bolt. I'm thinking nickel boron by either WMD or Toolcraft. Is there anything substantially better that would be considered a serious BCG? Finally, do I REALLY need to spend nearly a week's wages to get a good trigger? Actually I'm exaggerating on that point. I did see a trigger that is issued to Special Forces and is only for full autos, but it was $400!!! For a trigger!!! This is really an exercise in frustration. I want a self defense rifle that I'll own for probably most of the rest of my life - if not the rest of my life. It's got to handle abuse, heavy fire and if I stay out in the woods for a few days, it has to take the elements. So, the barrel, bolt, and trigger are the most important parts. But, what should I consider without refinancing the house? I used to shoot M1a and Garand rifles until spinal stenosis got me. This AR platform is confusing and far too many options. Help?