Well, I'm still sort of undecided, but I went into town today to see what the LGS had in stock that I could try on for size. I didn't plan on buying anything.
I asked the counter guy to "hand me one of those Savage rifles from his rack to see how it feels" and the only left handed ' 06 rifle in his store just fell into his hand! Somehow that lefty Savage 111 Trophy Hunter XP followed me home.
Together with a basic Nikon 3-9x40 BDC scope, $510 out the door.
It's a synthetic stock not wood, as I'd prefer, and it's not stainless, but it'll give me an opportunity to see if I like the Savage without investing serious $$.
Range report and pics (if I like it) next week.
Thank you for all the great ideas and suggestions. I have a feeling that there'll be another '06 bolt gun in my future, whether I like this one or not.