If you want to get a real good idea of the price of any gun go to http://www.gunbroker.com/and check it out. By the way Henry makes a nice gun but they are expensive.
Savage is at the moment the most affordable vs. quality firearm on the market. I have bought and sold many many new and used guns and strongly recommend if your going to get into the hunting sport do yourself a favor and use a sporting weapon.
Remington, Winchester, Savage, Ruger are top of the line firearms so is Henry but the brass frame gets loose if your shooting a larger caliper over a period of time. I think Henry makes a great small bore but still a little pricey.
30-06 will hunt anything in North America including brown bear with the right loads. The .270 is a very accurate flat shooting caliper and many Elk have been taken with them including Black Bear. .30 .30 for deer is great and as mentioned so is the .243 but not a elk bear caliper though its done.
If your going to get into the hunting sport you may find yourself wanting to learn to reload. It makes shooting much more affordable and availability of components is great and thats not the case if your reloading mil cal's. When you check the price of commercial ammo you'll see it makes target shooting almost prohibitive. If You think you'll enjoy the shooting sport start off with a quality sporting rifle and there are some great buys in the $300 - $500 price range. Check out Gunbroker.com it has the greatest data base around for any weapon you can imagine. Take your time. Guns can be resold and at a profit if you shop carefully (or at least you don't have to take a bath) good luck
I have never understood the attraction to Mil Surplus firearms. The actions on some are very desirable and can be used to make a really nice sporting rifles but the issue of cost takes a different path. Like the Mausers 98.
Edited by Tenneesse - 1/1/11 at 6:23pm