Otherwise, why would one pay nearly three times as much?
I wouldn't. Accuracy is 90% of what I care about in a rifle. I'd rather have a butt-ugly rifle that shoots cloverleafs than a beautiful high gloss walnut stock stainless rifle that shoots 2" groups. (not saying all M77's shoot that bad) And if I can pay 1/3 the price for the cloverleaf shooter then its that much better.
Ruger will probably realize eventually that there are alot of people that think like this and they will either raise the price of the RAR and/or revamp the M77. I hope they choose the latter only.