It is a great machine, let me tell you.
However I recommend you to root it, remove all garbage, put a launcher of your choice, and uninstall "stock" launcher.
Yeah I can definitely recommend rooting almost every android device its very good thing actually , but it has sometimes some minor mistakes when youre installing new ROM but if it has just choose another ROM.
I'd recommend the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the LG G3.
Here's the search page for the S5's, since you're American the stupid carrier thing makes it hard to find a good product page for it. http://amzn.to/2aEjFiL
Here's the LG G3's product page, it only shows 3 carriers but you can look around if you want an unlocked one. Just make sure you don't buy the LG G3 Beat or LG G3 Stylus which are both shittier than the proper G3 i'm pretty sure. http://amzn.to/2aIYEmy
I have seen both, they don't ship to my country FML -_-, do you think an Amazon Rep can give me an exception?