7 mag has new life with the newer High B.C. bullets, it stretches the effective range of the 7 Mag into Ultra Mag Range. I bought a powder scale at the gun show and a Cheezy Lee-Loader = $19.95 = Very slow reloading, but very good results with the High B.C. bullets (Berger and Hornady) = .58 inch groups at 100 yards. I bought better dies and a press - its faster but not any better groups.
Your suggestions are spot on. I took the same path in building my arsenal.
Bolt guns that I've built with Remington 700 baseline rifles: 223, 243AI, 7-08, 308, 300WM. Each has been accuracy tuned, either new barrels or cut back re-chambered and recessed 11 degree muzzle crowns, tuned and adjusted triggers, the 7-08 and 300WM have jewel triggers, and pillar/glasbed stocks.
Great shooting and a major cost savings.
As far as the poll the 300WM.
I'm in the process of building a 338 Edge and just received all the parts to build my new 6.5 Grendel AR15.
Little Forky I shot 11-2-11 at 200yds, Mt Laguna, San Diego, Ca.
7-08 Rem, 140gr TSX, 43grs W748, 2813FPS.
Spotted him in a burn area on the fringe of some scrub oak and pine trees. All I could see was his backside. Moved 30 feet to a better vantage point and could see his antlers. He was broadside. I placed the crosshair 2/3rds up and behind his shoulder. Clean kill.
In recent years we've had quite a few fires and it has benefited the deer herds here quite well. Lots of fat. He weighed 150 field dressed.
My 7-08 has served me well in shilouette matches. I've also competed in a few long range varmint shilouette matches out to 800yds.