I have just gone through this whole confusing saga over the last 8 months and bugged the hell out of all the great smiths on this site.
If you check the posts over this time concerning 338 cal big guns, I think I covered just about all of them.
In the end it came down to 2. Kirbys 338 AM and DE's 338 edge.
I firstly pursused the AM because it really is cutting edge and is such a huge jump above the rest.
The reasons I settled on the edge were all the reasons Kirby mentioned previously. There was also the extra cost of the AM over the basic rem 700 based rifle. Cost for me was of some concern.
I also have to pack the rifle alot and felt that 15-17 lbs for where I go was a little too heavy for me. I can get the edge to around 13 lbs ??. The real clincher for me was I wanted a rifle that would be a repeater. With the BAT action mainly being used as a single shot, I couldn't make my budget by going to a custom action like the Lawton or the action that Dave Viers uses on the 338 snipe tac.
My all up package custom rifle, NF scope, accesories, softwear, dies , reloading gear etc ended up costing what some guns alone would cost.
I guess it depends on how much splash you have to play with ??
In the end it really is a personal choice for each of us to make for our own personal reasons.
As you can see there is a great community of helpful people on the forum to help you with any bumps along the way.
The great gunsmiths on this site ( 50, SC, DV ) were a massive help to me
in helping with my final choice, with none of them showing any bias of their own gear. They just lay the cards on the table for you to think about.
Keep us all posted.
With each step in the bush, you are a step closer.