I personally like my 6.5x284. As for barrel life I dont think its hard on barrels but from what I understand it is hard on the throat. Im sure someone on here can verify that or not. I try to give my barrels pleanty of cool down time between shots, I also like to keep it clean. I have roughly 200rds through mine and plan on shooting it this weekend!
Goodluck on the rifle, from what I hear those Savage's are some good shooters out the box.