Re: rifle finish
Stainless and synthetic is the only way to go for a rifle that is used hard, in all sorts of less than wonderful conditions, in my opinion.
When I hunt, by default my rifles end up taking quite a beating, and I'm not real interested in taking chances with a wood stocked rifle. While stainless isn't stainproof, it sure rusts a lot less than a blued rifle. Wood is nice, and can look very pretty, but for a hard use rifle, it's benefits pale in comparison to that of a synthetic stock.
I'm personally a big fan of walnut and stainless, although that wasn't one of the choices!