After probably too much stress and anxiety over all the choices of this vs that, I think I've finally decided on my course of action ... thank you all for the input and advice you provided.
Ultimately I decided I want to build on a short action, so my Rem 700 LA will be put up for sale. I haven't 100% decided on which action i will go with yet, but the Defiance Tenacity is likely at the top of the pile, with the WTO Claymore and Big Horn Origin also in the mix.
I plan to use the WTO switchlug system to get me a few different rifles until I can build them out individually down the road. I'm going to start with a simple 6.5 Creedmoor, then add a 7mm SS, and then maybe a .223 to allow for cheaper trigger time / varminting. I will use a Proof CF barrel for both the 6.5 and the 7mm as those will both be hunting setups.
I'm starting off with the 6.5 because my first hunt is likely going to be Pronghorn and I'll go from there, adding in the 7mm SS when I get up to Elk. The 6.5 should serve me well for a couple years at least. I'm thinking about putting a Mark 5 3.6-18 on top of it, but I also really like my 3-15x gen 2 PST so I need to get to a store and compare them side by side.
Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it!
Give Proof a call before you go with the switchlug system. My buddy bought the origin action and was able to use the Proof pre-fits for the TL3 action by installing a thinner lug. Just a thought.