I hear what you are saying, and agree with it. People that shoot their 300 mag once a year, a week before deer season and then wander through the woods blasting at anything that moves piss me off too.
Honeslty of the I don't even own a magnum rifle (.257 weatherb doesn't count as a true magnum to me) and I have only ever shot (or shot at for that matter) one deer at the ranges that I am talking about. That was a doe at 475 paces (dont' know the actual yardage, but it was very near the 1/4 mile marker in the field). I probably should not have taken the shot, but it was a calm day right nearing dusk on the last weekend of a season in which I had yet to shoot at anything, and the old man bet me I couldn't hit it. So sue me.
In general I get out and shoot, usually working on my reloads about once a week, be it at a the range or in the back field. I don't pretend to be an expert long range marksman, but am probably better than most. I have been considering a custom hunting rig or maybe a Cooper rifle for a while now. Thus this thread was born.
I still don't know if I'll go with a magnum or not, I am thinking not. If so it will be one of the 7mm short mags. I don't own any wildcat rifles either, and the 30-06AI has always intreaged me, and god knows I have enough 30-06 brass laying around as it is, so that is probably leading the running right now.
I gotta get back to work.