A Marlin 30/30 is very versatile at ranges up to 200 yards, especially with the new Hornady LeveRevolution rounds that I've heard so much about. I'm anxious to try them out this year. A .243 is great for deer, but not if you want to hunt something bigger later on. It's a tossup (personal opinion here) whether a .270 or a .30-06 is the better all-round cartridge for small to medium sized game. (Like my father-in-law, he swears by the .270 that he used to use in CO for hunting elk.) Folks can argue this subject for days!
My wife paid about $165 for an old Russian sniper rifle that's about 70 years old. Don't let the age of the rifle kid you, it's still as accurate today as it was when it was made. Mosin-Nagant 7.62 x 54. It came only with open sights, but that's what I learned on when I was in the military. Just look in the gallery and you'll see a 9 point that I got with it.
It's not how much the weapon costs, it's what you can do with it that counts. My two cents worth for the day.