alrite fella i would like to put my $.02 into the fray. as if you aren't probably confused enough as everybody has a different opinion. so, my opinion based on cost effectiveness and also NOT sacrificing quality in the least would be a weatherby vanguard series 2 in either .308 win,personal fav of mine, or 7mm-08. both of these are short actions which will save you a quarter of a pound from a long action. scope: i agree on the 3-9x40mm in either a leupold vx2 or a redfield which is made by leupold. get a regular duplex reticule so you won't be confused with so many lines and hold-over points. rings and mounts: leupold dual dovetail 2 piece bases with dd leupold rings. ammo: a good premium mid-weight bullet for caliber nosler partition. sight-in at 100 yards 2" high so should be dead on at 200 and around 8" low at 300 which all you would have to do is hold at the top of the back at 300 right on or right behind the front shoulder and squeeze the trigger. this set-up should be around $800-900 depending if you find a deal or two.
good luck and let us know what you decide and how it performs,