Guys, thanks for your very interesting responses. Recoil is definitely a very personal issue with variables such as stock fit, gun weight, shooter's hold, etc. More than one person I know swears that a .270 kicks more than a '06! I'll bet everyone's also telling the truth. I guess the only dependable starting point to go by is plain and simple physics. The recoil of a .300 Win and a .300 WSM
has to be, in theory, similar. Same bullet weights moving at similar velocities dictates that. Then we can chuck in all the little variables that will determine each individual shooter's response. What all this has cleared up for me is that the initial marketing hype of a WSM kicking less than a Win Mag is not a given but is very subjective!
BountyHunter, I'm impressed and a little surprised with your results using the .300 WSM. Not owning a rifle for either cartridge, I'm leaning towards the WSM because it's state-of-the-art, uses a shorter action, etc, etc. I'm equally happy with the performance of your Coyote. That's definitely 'not bad' for an off-the-shelf rig and that's one model on my short list as well.
Roper, a 24" barrel is certainly one of the factors that draw me towards a WSM. I intend to use this rifle for hunting and not all of it is going to be 'long range' or possible from a steady rest or in the prone position so a 24" barrel is perfect, for me.