Something you seem to be missing here, is the big difference between aeg's and sniper rifles. The performance of a cheap aeg isn't going to differ that much from a expensive aeg, the difference is usually in lifespan, durability and to an extent appearance. When it comes to sniper rifles, the performance differs hugely. And the low quality just isn't gameable. There's no way around this. You either buy expensive and upgrade less, or buy cheap and upgrade (considerably) more. You will not find a competitive sniper rifle for less then $1000 and probably more like $1500. For a specialty item like a barrett .50 cal you're going to end up spending more. This fact, as much as the difficulty factor, is why there aren't many snipers and newbies are highly advised not to get a sniper rifle until they have the experience and funds to do it right.