I would look harder at Savage. That SPS stock is pure junk. I have one now that is my beater stock for hunting.
As far as the 204 or the 17 I would go with the 204 myself. Both of them are going to take special cleaning rods and other stuff as well as well as reloading. If you do not reload then go for the 204.
As far as optics go you are going to want no less that 14x at the top end all the way up to 32x. I have a 4-16x40mm Leupold VX-II on my rem VLS and a Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x40mm on my 308. My 30-06 wears the old Weaver KT-15 that was on my VLS.
Nikon, Leupold, Burris, Bushnell Elite 4200 and 3200, Weaver Classic V series or the Grand slam 6.5-20 are all good scopes. With leupold I would not go less than the VX-II series.