It is true that the 338 Edge is around the limits of what we could call an affordable option for long range chambering. That said, its really just the beginning of the performance relm for long range hunting. It is true that you have to pay to play. Just like when building high performance cars. For example, my current hobby is a 2010 camaro SSRS. Started out at 400 HP, it cost me around $2000 to get to 500 HP, it cost me about $8000 to get to 680 HP!!! Next step will be to get it to around 800 HP and that will cost me another $8000.
Rifles are the same way but not to quite that scale. There is easily another +500 fps possible over the 338 Edge. It may cost you twice to three times more then a 338 Edge in a modified Rem 700 but in the end, there is a performance level that makes the Edge look anemic. That is not a flame toward the Edge in any way, just a fact. As impressive as the Edge is, as capable as the Edge is, as easy to load for as the Edge is, there are other wildcats that will dramatically improve its performance and are really no more difficult to shoot or load for. You do however reduce barrel life somewhat when you increase ballistic performance but not by as much as many would think in the 338 bore size.
The trick is to find a wildcat where you do not have to spend alot of time forming wildcat brass. Go to www.apsrifles.com
if your interested on the next level of performance over the Edge, or the next after that or the next level after that!!!
When you get to these ultra performance wildcats however your really looking at specialized rifle systems, not just a modded Rem 700. In the end, they are generally well worth the investment if your really looking for a precision long range weapon system.