I think a lot of it will come down to what you plan to do with the rifle.
Take a look at their weights and factor that in by how much walking you plan on doing with it. I find that I usually get a bit more accuracy out of a heavier barrel, but I don't want to walk through the woods with a rifle with a long heavy barrel.
I think 26 inches of barrel is more than a .223 really needs. Personally, I would find a shorter heavy barrel to be much more handy.