I know everyone has their recommendations, and here's mine...you should look into switching over to DME. Now others may recommend all grains. Both are fine.
DME lasts longer, stores easier, is less messy, and (best of all) does not require you to buy any new equipment other than what you already have. With grains you'll need to invest in a bunch of more equipment and supplies.
I recommend using Extra-Light or Light DME as a base and adding darker malts if you need to darken the color as the big guys do.
Rice powder/solids work fine as well as corn sugar to add alcohol without and color. I don't (use or) recommend using too much corn sugar because it tends to make the beer more cidery flavored.