Re: Suggestions for Getting Started
JohnnyK is on the money IMO. I bought my first savage a few weeks back and love it. Very accurate and good value and can do a lot of the barrel swapping etc at home. You've got a good sized budget there. You could get a custom, but I would say get a stock savage, see how it shoots, then maybe upgrade it if nessasary. Remember, the budget has to include a bipod, rings, and base which are easily another $200.
I'm not sure how much reloading gear you have but guessing by the arsenal of pistols, you probably have some gear. You will need dies, shellplates, a case trimmer, priming device, etc. So remember that when you decide to buy.
A savage in .308win or 300wsm would also be good options. Those would also allow you to take light skinned game out to eventualy 800 or 1000+ with the wsm as your skills develop (I'm talking LOTS of practice, but you probably know that.) just looking ahead. For scopes, don't skimp. Leupold Mk4s, and NF are the favoured ones around here. I am ordering my first sightron SIII currently based on loads of positive reviews. A great rifle can really be held back by low quality optics.
"Out of range" is a theoretical concept as far as I'm concerned. Send it!