I have never owned a gun and never will, but if I were to get one, it would certainly not be anything chambering the 5.56 NATO round.
The reason is that it is simply too small to work on anything other than coyotes and IRS agents.
I hear a lot of people talking about how portable the AR (or the Mini-14) is, and it's true that the rifle and a hundred rounds of ammunition weigh a lot less than a similar carbine chambered in 7.62X39 or .308. But do any of you see yourselves as a highly mobile strike-force participiant, or merely as a homeowner defending his or her freehold? If I were into such things, I'd certainly pick the latter, which renders the advantages of light weight pretty irrelevant.
To my way of thinking, I'd want a gun that I and my family/friends can use to hold off attackers on our own ground; and a gun that can do a lots of other things, too, such as murdering Bambi. Given that one or two well-placed shots would be a lot more effective that spray-'n'-pray, I doubt if I'd give a lot of importance to a large magazine, either.
And finally, unless you all have a lot more money than I, you'd probably want an auto-loading carbine that would be inexpensive enought to use to outfit your family, which might mean three or four of them. Certainly, from a logistics point of view, a single model would drastically cut down on the number of other items (such as reloading dies, spare parts, and ammunition) you'd need to buy.
So using those criteria -- big enough caliber to knock down a deer or elk, accurate out to a hundred or hundred-fifty meters, reliable, and inexpensive in both non-recurring (buying the gun) and recurring (ammunition and parts) costs -- I'd pick Comrade Simonov's wonderful little self-loading carbine, the Samozaryadni Karabin Simonova AKA the SKS.
Of course, since I do not own any guns, this is purely an hypothetical exercise on my part.