Personally, if I'm spending $1,000+ on a rifle, it's going to have an effective range much further than 400 meters.
I've seen 7.62 x 39 reach to 850 yards, flippydidit, and I bet if it had been somebody out there it would have left a mark. I saw 5.56 x 45 reach to 650 yards as well. People put 1000.00-plus dollars into ARs all the time, but I suppose you won't because it won't be effective past 400 meters either. Did the designated marksmen making some of those 600-plus-meter shots in Iraq know they couldn't do that? No, neither platform is optimized for it, but they work, and you usually do get what you pay for. I wouldn't expect any low-priced AK or AR to do very well beyond even 2 or 3 hundred meters, actually. The rifle doesn't shoot itself, though, and I would expect that most of the less-than-stellar performance at range isn't the fault of the rifle anyway.
The 556R, I only know what I've read. Sig has fixed the issues in the original production copy and it's more accurate out of the box than some custom-built AKs. Too many people I trust saying that.
Gabe Suarez indeed has a business interest. You're saying that nobody else has a similar interest, say, people on the AR forums, in promoting their chosen platforms? Surely not. And why, if the business interest is all there is, is he being accused by a fairly large group of 'abandoning' the AK platform? And why did he discontinue his companies' efforts to create a 1st-line AK if he had nothing more than a business interest in it? He could have continued to sell them if he wished, first line or stock-in-the-box, as he once did the Vepr rifles and would likely have continued to make money doing so. Do you pay more attention to someone that promotes a single product because that's all they have, or someone who has the will and resources to drop something they don't agree with or believe in any more and go a different route out of choice and not by necessity?
There is also the Sig 516 and the FN FS2000, the AUG, and HK rifles and pistols, all being promoted by SI. Interest there is, but far more than just in the AK. Gabe in fact appears to be all but done with the AK.
Back to the thread: Reports are that the 556R is reliable and accurate and overall a solid platform. Note: It will not run the US Palm AK30 magazines. It runs other metal and composite mags fine. If you have a bunch of AK30s, you will want to keep another AK platform to run those with or send them to me for, ah, proper disposal.