I went looking for a decent hunting rifle about a year and a half ago.
I ended up with a used Winchester Model 70 (mine is from 1964).
I know Winchester enthusiasts bad-mouth the post '64 Model 70s - but mine shoots as straight as a laser. No - I can't work the action while holding the rifle upside down ---- but that's the only limitation I've found, so far.
Some of the nice used guns that I found:
- I found a few Savage rifles (pre-accutrigger) for mid-high 300s.
- I found a beautiful used Remington 700 ADL (wood stock) for $400.
- I found a very clean sporterized 1903 for $450.
New discount gun packages that impressed me:
- Remington ADL package from Cabela's
- Thompson venture package (amazing features at more amazing price)
I decided to stay far away from the 770s. You're way better off finding a pre-loved gun for about the same price. Wasn't that impressed with the Savage/Stevens rifle, either - although it's certainly better than a 770.
In .270 - I think I'd look for a used Winchester Model 70. There's really nothing on this planet nicer (of course, that's my own unbiased opinion)
One note - if you want to shoot a lot - stay away from the .270 WSM.
The .270 short cartridge costs a LOT to shoot.