Truth be told, I'm with Geauxtide and using that same short barrelled 260 and even shooting the same bullet. The reason I shoot that bullet is to get to that 3000 fps level so that the ballistics match my 270 ballistics - which causes less heavy thinking when I see a pig at 400 yards and need to make the shot without twiddling scope dials or dragging out my rangefinder. But...I digress...so back to the original topic...PawPaw made a good point about the origins of the 7-08 and that there's no real effective difference between field use of that round and the 280. I'd still pick the 280 if I had to choose. Now you may have noticed that I'm shooting the 260 lately and have sorta parked my 270, but that decision is based more on the small, light, and terrific little Ruger 77 Compact in 260. A buddy sold it to me so cheap that I had to buy it. If I had passed on that chance, you guys would have slapped me crosseyed.
So what ya'll are saying is that the 7-08 is a short action cartridge with low recoil and that's why it's popular. Not much of a reason, but I guess that's enough of one.