I voted yes for the mini-14. It would be near the top of my list of rifles to have. I just can't make myself like the AR rifles. I have over 70 firearms and the mini is a definite favorite.
If I had only one centerfire rifle it would be my marlin 30-30 or the marlin 18984 in 357 mag. Unlike a lot of posters here I don't see myself getting into these great gun battles with swarms of attackers and holding them off with my trusty AR and 200 loaded 30 round mags. I guess I need to watch more Rambo movies.
Also my new 580 series gun will stay in the 2-3" range at a hundred yards with open sights. Thats good enough for what I want it for. And no, it doesn't string shots when it gets hot.