Well, I haven't shot one, but I don't expect that you'll be disappointed. Remington a few years back really decided to take a new direction and focus on providing a reasonable quality rifle at very affordable prices. So common now for a NIB rifle from a reputable manufacturer to be getting close to a grand these days, even without a quality scope. That's just alot to ask for most guys, esp in these economic times. Remington's answer was the 4x4, 770, and a few other models. A few of the other manufacturers realized the potential of that market and responded with their own offerings. While not huge in the looks and aesthetics depts, (you're just not going to get hand rubbed European walnut and top shelf bluing for those prices), they are very functional and sufficiently accurate sporting rifles. I'd be surprised if most guys couldn't turn in groups under two inches with most any of them, and the "no frills' stocks, etc give them a rugged, almost rustic appeal, imo. Definitely not afraid to carry one on a bear drive trough a rhododendron tangle, or climbing a rockslide. I've heard a ton of positive feedback on the 4x4, and if I was in your shoes, I'd probably stick with your first choice. If you have to shave a few bucks off the budget, don't feel handicapped by going with the 770, either. For "blue collar" deer hunting, it's mostly about the man behind the trigger, and not so much the man who built it. Trust me that a dead whitetail could care a less about such things, let alone the price tag! Good luck and shoot straight!
PS:I saw you are in Girard. All this rain and coler weather has me thinking it won't be long, I may have to take a trip to Girard myself...'Cause, well....You know, there is a certain kind of fish that kinda likes to visit the area every fall, and uh...ummm....Anyway, would a "PM" be too much to ask when "the time" comes?