Howa is a good gun. As for caliber, I agree that 308/30-06 would be a better starting caliber. Although I personally don't own an '06, it really is one of, if not, the best all around caliber. Easy to find ammo everywhere and you can get stuff all the way down for varmints and all the way up for elk. The 308 is probably a little light, although very capable, for elk.
I own both a Howa in 22/250 and a Tikka T3 in 308 and wouldn't trade either one. Both are extremly accurate and function flawlessly.