Originally Posted by JTJ
Compromise and get a 270. No problem finding 270 ammo right now.
Not a compromise 270 has a ballistic advantage over the .308, .243 and the 7mm-08 although the 7mm-08 comes with a wider range of bullets available and no caliber can match the variety of the .308 bore.
All would be good choices although I have always felt that .243 was a bit small for a large Whitetail. Plus when you get to the deer bullets you loose so much velocity that it isn't really as flat shooting as many would have you believe.
As far as calibers and barrel life are concerned some barrels just last forever. It is so inexplicable that US Army Marksmanship unit had (last i heard) quit rebarreling rifles due to round count and now waits for there to be a demonstrable decrease in accuracy. (They were having some barrels go at 3500 and others last over 8000) The .243 is however known for being hard on barrels the estimates are around 1200-1500 rounds on the average match rifle far short of the 3500-5000 rounds you can get out of a .308, but considering that you will likely not shoot 1500 rounds in ten years of hunting I probably wouldn't be too concerned about barrel life.