Re: How much for a long range rifle, who makes the best for the money??
A good LR setup can be done for as little as $1200 to as much as $4000
Define the game (size) and then decide if you want to go custom or modify factory.
What weight limitations? etc
Find a good LR smith in your local or one whose reputation you trust and then talk to him about what you want it to do and what he recommends for your price budget.
As for calibers for deer and elk, look at 7 WSM or 30 WSM. Hard to go wrong.
Low end cost, uy a good heavy barrel Savage, change trigger, recrown, tapered base and decent Leu, IOR, Burris scope and Leica 1200 range finder.
In NE as far as gunsmiths, Bruce Baer in PA, John Myer in VA are a couple more to consider that specialize in LR benchrest and hunting rifles that are second to none.