First large caliber rifle I got was a Ruger M77 in .270. Before that it was .222 Rem. and .22 Hornet.Yeah, real old school. But great back in the day. Use the Ruger and a Rem 700 in the same cal for years. I thought I was Jack O'Conner or something. I didn't care for the .30 cals much, so I did not use the .308 or the 06. Had some, but never kept them long.
My dad was hung up on short action rifles and preferred the .243 Winch. After some years of handloading the .270s, I found that I could get about the same performance with less blast using the shorter cases. Still not wanting to use a .30 cal, I went to the 7mm-08 cal. Not much difference in bullet diameter fromt he .270 and ina shorter case. The .308 would have served as well, but I just don't care for the .30s in bolt rifles..
I have looked at the Ruger American. Looks nice. Had thought about getting one in a short action .243, but a short action Rem. 700 .243 in a poly stock turned up cheap a few months back I already had a Nikon and good rings to put on it. Just had to get the bases. It's good to go and have plenty of reloads for it.
Still thinking about a Riger American, but would have to be a larger cal now. Just kinda hard to buy another cal I alredy have. Maybe I will have to try one in the .308. Guess I can learn to live with a .30 cal. in a short action. Gotta feed an H&K G3 clone I got a few months ago, so now I will have to be scrounging ammo for that one anyway.
Guess the .308 would be most versitile like someone else mentioned. Wide assortment of bullet weights to load. More dies to get. Guess I would be talking myself in to one of those also.