Maybe we are comparing apples to oranges. You keep on bringing up long range bench rest shooters and what they use. From what I know , most peoples definition of Lon range is 1000 yards. I completely agree with you that there are much better calipers for anything less than 1000 yards. As you said, those guys doing competitions do not choose 338 for a reason.
For that version of 'long range' you want something with the least amount of recoil while still having relatively good BC.
However, I was under the impression that we were talking about extremely long range, which is 1500+. If you want to shoot <1500, I would free that you can get a 300 win mag and not lose out on anything. The 338 shines when you are doing 1500+.
One of the only calipers that has emerged as possibly being better is the 375 cheytac.