Re: 6.5 X284 vs 300 ultra
My definition of practical and everybody elses definition of practical will be very different. That said, 'paper ballistics' are great. Both calibers offer awesome paper ballistics in their own right. From a practical standpoint (at least my definition of it) they both suck. IMHO paper ballistics and practicality hardly ever go hand in hand. Then again, I normally shoot 1000-3000 rounds in a given year. I would be replacing 1-3 barrels per year with those 'ballistically superior' cartridges.
From a 'match' standpoint, the 6.5x284 is the ticket between the two. From a 1000+ yard big game killing standpoint, the 300RUM is the ticket between the two. At least in my opinion.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.