Re: Help Needed
It's been my observation that gunsmiths are individuals and they each have their own methods and limits (real or imagined). For me there isn't a method or technique for holding a non-completed rifle (barrel, action, stock and accesories) and being able to get any idea of what it'll feel like when completed. I have, and have had many rifle built to the same specification (some by the same builder) and each rifle feels different when completed. The palm swell will be a little different, the bolt handle shape, the solid/harmonic feel of the completed rifle varies.
My advice, talk to many shooters that shoot as you do and take note of the gunsmiths. Some folks will have had many rifles built and know the quirks of the individual gunsmith(s) they use. Start with the best parts you can get, don't skimp on anything. Get a little faster twist than you think you need (alloy bullets need more twist than lead core of the same weight). Get a new recoil lug if the action style uses one, it's relatively inexpensive and it make the gun a little more "special". You'll appreciate the little extra things and the smith(s) sometimes enjoy working a little more diligently on a "special" gun.
Functionality beats beauty every time, you can't impress targets or animals to death, you must be able to hit them with a bullet.
If the gunsmith insists on doing things his way without a satifiactory and valid response, look for another gunsmith. Most professionals enjoy discussing their profession, appreciate the interest and aren't afraid to offer their knowledge and experience. Folks on the edge of their knowledge and experience often don't care for questions.
Go to a rifle match and talk to the shooters, handle their rifles and get a feel for the features and such that you want, most will be happy to assist.
Lastly, if you get it wrong you can always try again (in you can handle the wait) and actually, if you get it correct you'll end up getting another one (or two, or three...) anyway (it's addictive).