Re: First ELR Rig
$2500 for optics AND rifle?
Savage Long Range Hunter in .338. Luepy Mk 4 and spend the rest on rings base and tripod.
You might find some stuff used and save some coin and get better glass, or do a 338 Edge build of a savage action.
I think $5k is a much more reasonable budget to keep in mind. Once you have the rifle you'll need to shoot it. That cost $$$ for ammo or $$$ for reloading components and equipment. Not to mention a decent hard case/Sling.
"Let glorious acts more glorious acts inspire,
And catch from breast to breast the noble fire!
On valour's side the odds of combat lie,
The brave live glorious, or lamented die;" - Iliad, Book V