I vote for the savage 11 trophy hunter xp in 223. I saw it at buds gun shop (the actual store, not the website) for $459. Comes with a 22" sporter weight 1 in 9" twist barrel. On an 11 action with the accutrigger and a decent ($160) nikon prostaff 3-9x40mm scope with bdc reticle. After a bunch of practice at 1, 2, and 300 yards or so You can later upgrade the optics, and to a heavier barrel with a faster twist for the 70+ grain bullets for the longer range shots.
You may even find it cheaper in your area