Well, unless pigs fly and I can get an AR-15, my only choice is the Ruger Mini-14. I rather have a good, slow rifle (I'm slow anyway) that I can be proud of than a crappy fast one. Not that the Mini-14 is a slouch, it just isn't ME.
Wasn't the American revolution won by hunting guns?
I shoot a .308 in 3 gun. Yes the 223's are faster due to lower (no) recoil. Depends on what you are trying to do. I shoot my M14S and others shoot HK's and FAL's because they like the fact that they are competing with a battle rifle. We have a seperate class in our 3 guns for guns making major power factor. So we compete against each other. I am going to shoot my Garand in a match one of these days. The matches I attend seem to have a great emphasis on a rifle for CQB. This is a great idea and I don't lag that far behind the winner. You will never beat a fast man with a 223 but you don't have to. Shoot what you have and what you like. Let others use their 14 lb. 223's.
As for it being cheaper, if you compare prices of surplus right now, you can shoot a 308 cheaper than a 223.
"What most of these people need is a good slap upside the head. What I don't need is any more lawsuits." John "The Tooz" Matusak