I dont see anone posting about marlins x7 line. I just picked up one, with a 26" heavy barrel...Oh my is it nice. The trigger is incredible! I it's user adjustable, but I haven't even bothered.
Had some trouble with the scope (my fault. i didnt realize i hadnt tightened down the rings) once i did that, great shooting and that was cheapo wally world ammo.
Rifle-Marlin x7vh in .223 $320 (ProTrigger included), Scope-Barska 6-24x50mm $99 (spotting scope included), Bipod-NcStar swivle mount $22, Case-Plano 50" plastic $29.
My goal was to get a sub $500 dollar rifle system and so far I am very happy.
Warning, Marlins website does not advertise the heavy barrel and does not advertise it in .223
Also, my rifle does not like TulAmmo steel casings but loves the taste of anything else.