Model12Win, I think the 18 barrel would be awesome. I see the Aussies get a variant like that, with no suppressor. Wonder if it'll come stateside!
In regards to the action binding- I am not sure if that means a failure to load a cartridge into the chamber, to cycle at all, or just an inconvenient "catch" or "hitch" when cycling the bolt. I have not experienced any sort of "hang up" while shooting this rifle if that helps. Out of the box it did not cycle super smooth. But it did not cycle so rough that I was worried or felt it inhibited me from cycling quick and efficiently. Many of the guys I shoot with have had their GSR's for a couple of years, and their GSR's got much smoother the more they shot them. If you see someone struggling to cycle one of these things (there's a video review where a popular tacticool guy does)- either they have a bad one and need to call ruger, or need to practice shooting a bolty a little more.
I will however admit my Kimber 8400 in 300WSM cycled significantly smoother out of the box...albeit significantly more expensive. The only M77 I have shot is one that I inherited my father. It was made in the 1970's and it is smooth as butter- much smoother than the Kimber even FWIW. I would see if you can rent a GSR at a range to see if you like it! That is, if you see value in the concept of it. If you don't see the value in a "scout" styled rifle then you most definetly won't like it!