I have a 6.8SPC and a 45/70 in 23" carbine length. Really, a 23" barrel is called a carbine in the Contender!! Think about it. Such a simple action leaves lots of room for barrel length. This length of barrel is typical for factory bolt actions but looks so small/short on the Contender or G2. There's so much room there that T/C puts 26" barrels on the new encore pro hunters and that makes them look "normal" length next your typical bolt action.
The Contender/G2 carbines weigh in around 7.5lbs if you have the straight barrel without any taper. That weight equals pretty snappy recoil in a 45/70, even if it is loaded to the mild levels of the old trapdoor. I added a mercury recoil tamer in the stock end of mine for when the 45/70 is attached. It stays there for the other barrel since it is still a light rifle with it (+4 oz.)
FOR STOCKS in wood. I would check out eabco.com, they have some beautiful wood thumbhole stocks for all the T/C variants. And I think Boyds Stocks also has T/C offerings. Not sure if it's walnut but the woods are much heavier than the composites. The Choate I have is a feather weight. I'm with you and may spring for a wood version for this 45/70 someday.
I've been looking at ballistics for a while and believe that these two calibers will take care of about anything I would ever hunt. Being a single shot, either of these has a wide variety of bullets to choose from. Some of those 300 grain spire points for the 458Socom should do nicely on elk to 150 yards. The 130 grain 270 bullets would work for deer and even elk at close range. The lighter 85-95 grain offerings are for them thar varmints. The barnes 95's are used a lot on white tail deer.
Now if only I can find some 6.8 loads that are based on a 23-24" barrel instead of the AR and it's 16-18" barrels (real carbine length). All those AR loads with fast powders don't get much help from the extra 6-8 inches on the contender. A bit slower powder should do much better in the velocity department.