No expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I too was making the same choices a couple months ago. I wound up with a SPS .308.
My hunting ground is family property, with the maximum safe shot being about 300 yards (my uncle did it a few years ago from the bed of his pickup; 8 pointer.. it was nice). I don't expect to make anything past about 200. I wanted a hunting rifle, but I also wanted a fun rifle for the other 360 days of the year. The SPS fit my personal definition of both, and also fit my overall budget nicely. I've already had a lot of fun shooting it at 100, just learning to shoot. 4 boxes in, my confidence is much higher. Anyways.. I think in the end, you'll gravitate to whichever rifle feels right for you. Then you just gotta make it work.
My new baby (posing with my old new Marlin .22):
As shown, I think I'm into it for about $1150.
Rifle was $620 at Bud's Gun Shop, then there's a Bushnell Elite 3200 Mil/Mil from MidwayUSA, EGW single piece rail, Burris Extreme HD rings (Low), Harris swivel bipod, Mag extender, Karsten Kydex cheek rest, scope covers, carrying strap, case... Geeze.
As far as barrel length is concerned, there's this recent thread: