M1A has style and history. What would the bolt gun have?
The bolt guns actually have more of both.
If you're going for a do-all weapon, I think the M1A is money well spent. The only other option I think I would consider would be a .308 AR pattern rifle.....
The AR is definitely the more "do all", and readily adaptable to it. The M1A doesnt offer anywhere near that flexibility, and most of the add on fixes are more of an afterthought, where with the AR's, they are part of the design.
If kick is an issue, dont expect the M1A to be any better. Technique, and how you shoot is more of a factor here. .308's arent "kickers", but things like how you shoulder the rifle, shooting with stocks that dont fit properly, and shooting off a bench, can make them (or any of them for that matter) less pleasurable to shoot.
If you go with the M1A, Id suggest you go with the standard model. Unless youre a higher level competitor, I dont think youre going to see any benefit from the match models. Youre better off putting the difference in cost towards ammo, some good mags, and a proper sling.
With the AR's, a good "double" flattop will give you the most options with just one upper.
One thing is for sure, if you havent owned any of them, then you do need to get a decent model of each at some point, as they all have something to offer.
“The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Beware of associating with "Cheap" Squirrels. They tend to be very narrow minded, hypocritical, and will gag you if you question or disagree.