Many modern bolt guns are far lighter and more compact than any lever gun and offered with more options for short barrels.
How can you even say this? Point out 5 bolt guns to me now.....GO!
I will agree with the fact that the bolt guns may be lighter, but not handier or shorter. You know how many variations of the guide gun marlin has made? Not to mention most any 30-30 or .35 carbine is much shorter than a factory bolt action.
I own a Ruger Gunsite scout, but both my Marlin in .450 and 35 are handier.
It would take years of practice with a bolt action to get it anywhere near as fast as a lever.
To the OP, ever consider a pump rifle? They arent for me, but are slick. A Remington 7615? Takes AR mags and is cheap to shoot.