A 4.5x14 gives you a nice range of magnification, and that statement about "rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" is just about as correct as a fellow can get. I hunted for years with a 4 power and then went to a 3x9 and then went to a straight 6 power and then moved to a 4.5x14. That last magnification range is just right for me. I can hunt the thicker areas on my place at 4.5 power and then go to whatever power I want (usually 8) for the open fields. And I will shoot at 14 power if the pig or coyote is way out there. The obvious answer to all of this is to buy what you personally want. After decades of hunting, I have done that. And the Leupold and Burris 4.5x14's are no bigger than my Dad's Zeiss Conquest 3x9, or if there is a difference it isn't noticeable.
As for scanning, I only use binocs for that. But if I see a big buck at the edge of my farthest field (500 yards or so), I will switch to the highest power I have to learn what I can. For that, more power is better. And if I find somebody in my crosshairs, he's trespassing.