I’d stick with the DeWalt. You might consider returning just the circular if HD will let you since the kit is no longer in stock, saying it has an issue with the shoe. In my distant past experience, they were able to give store credit for the lowest recent price of the tool only when I had to return a part of a combo they no longer had in stock. They would have just swapped it, but didn’t have any of the bare tool in stock either, so that might also be an option for you. The other option might be to contact DeWalt about the problem, and see what they want to do for you to make it right.
As mentioned and as you found, a lot of people prefer DeWalt as more comfortable than Milwaukee. And for the base tools, the deal you got is as good as or better than any Milwaukee deal that comes to recent memory. You’ll still get just about anything you want to expand to with DeWalt, particularly as the years go on. Like this year we saw DeWalt pick up a lot of electrical and plumbing, for example. Milwaukee will hopefully pick up the compressor, maybe a table saw, and some innovations/improvements on things dewalt is doing better (the OMT does come to mind for me too). The specialty pieces continue to blur.
Also as you mention, you aren’t precluded from expanding into M12 (or Makita’s 12V lineup) if you want, and won’t have too much overlap. For example, the M12 circular even for a DIYer is kind of a different ballpark from any 18V saw in my view. Your dewalt can cut bevels through 2x lumber the M12 can’t, whether for want of power or blade size. But the M12 is an amazingly portable saw for smaller or specific jobs, where the 6.5 or 7.25 is overkill. Particularly overhead or vertical cuts, anything in place where you have to lift the saw around and hold it, the lightness of the M12 is amazing comparatively. The M12 jigsaw, although not brushless or orbital, is a pretty powerful tool, and barrel grip instead of D handle. My strong point on Milwaukee was lighting, and M12 even has great options, with the spotlight, lantern, and rover flood. The M12 soldering iron is super awesome, just got that today and already was putting it to good use. The M12 little Bluetooth speaker is even pretty darn good for its size.
Bottom line I think you’ll be happy with the dewalt, particularly for the value, so don’t lose any sleep over debating on Milwaukee. Each line has things they do better, and they’ll change what those are from time to time, so a disadvantage in one is made up for a disadvantage elsewhere in the other. I’m a Milwaukee guy, and having used plenty of DeWalt tools as well over the years, if I was starting a fresh kit, I wouldn’t have hesitated on that dewalt deal. Great tools, great price.
Some extra $0.02 on getting into M12 since I was thinking about that now, if you already have an 18V drill and impact type base and don’t want to repeat it…
A deal commonly comes up for the Bluetooth speaker for $79 instead of $69, but including a charger and 2Ah battery. If you wanted a power-tool-battery-based Bluetooth speaker anyway, that gets you the basics of the system, theoretically from there you could add whatever bare tools you want. Right now, Home Depot has a deal where you buy the lantern or spotlight (or a few other tools, the lantern and spotlight are the best if you ask me) and get a free 3Ah XC battery. (I’ll also note you can’t get the 3Ah compact or 6Ah batts in kits right now, AFAIK. So the 3Ah XC batteries, although old and pretty cheap value wise now, are still better than the 2 Ah, or if you want the larger pack to stand the tool on). You could also get a second charger and 4Ah battery by going for the fuel hackzall or fuel circular saw kits, both of which also currently come with a free tool (the hackzall is the better value over bare tool by far, $139 bare $169 kit vs $149 bare and $229 kit for the circular). A lot of kits, particularly non-fuel tools, still come with the 1.5Ah batteries I believe, like the jigsaw, non-fuel Hackzall, right angle drill and impact, non-fuel ratchets, etc. Those tools make more sense to get bare, and use the extra money to buy nicer batteries if you so need. But for the DIYer, you don’t need a plethora of batteries, so the XC kits or one of the free deals make the most sense.
The free stapler finally showed up as a free tool combo with the fuel hackzall or fuel circular as well, I know some people have had their eye on that.
What I would get to expand on what you have, assuming you have pruning tasks or similar to justify a hackzall in addition to the XR recip:
M12 BT speaker, with 1 2Ah battery and charger - $79
M12 lantern with free 3Ah XC battery - $59
$138 gets you two batteries, a charger, and a light and a lantern. Not quite as good as the $99 drill + impact kits, but I’d argue more useful.
Add M12 Fuel Hackzall, includes 1 4Ah battery and charger, plus a free jig saw - $169
~310 and you have a 4 tool kit, hackzall, jig saw, speaker, and light, with three batteries and two chargers.
Goes to show how cheap it is to put in your most common tools, the drill and impact driver, vs. letting people get things other than those :).
If you want the circular, sub it for the hackzall, or add it on with a free rover light or stapler (great for crafts and not smart for Christmas lights, but people do it anyway). Watch out for deals like they’re having on the lantern and spotlight, those are already comparatively cheap, you’ll only get them as free to something else, getting something free with them is almost unheard of. Plus you’ll be in a good place to expand with bare tools, maybe pick up the newest 3Ah compact batteries separately.
Throw some of those in Acme too and a few let the 20 off $100 Milwaukee deal still work, so you can increase the value even more. But not all the free accompaniments are available there, so YMMV depending on what you’d choose. The promo code does work on the hackzall kit with the free rover light when I just tried (stapler and jig saw are not available at acme on the deal it seems), so I’d guess it would work on the other things as well. For some order padding for the speaker in a second order to get over $100, I might suggest the Milwaukee mega sawzall kit, which is down to $40 for 32 blades on Acme.
Anyway, I know you didn’t ask, but maybe some useful tidbits in there for other people that may be reading.