I wouldn't consider my M21 as a curio or relic. Wooden furniture, check. Gas piston, check. Ability to engage and neutralize targets out to 1000 yds, check. To each his own....there's soul in wood and steel.
Oh yes, it's not light (11.6 pounds before optics, mount, bipod), and it's not cheap, but everyone has their dream and this one is mine. Repeatable, reliable, and a joy to shoot. It's easy to work on, easy to maintain, and easy to customize.
Cons...hand loading is necessary unless you go with milsurp ammo. Initial price can be scary. I bought (gently) used and was over $2k....don't expect to ever sell, but knowing about this rifle (tuned by Glenn Nelson) doubting that I will lose money.
Bottom line, everyone has their own opinion...and none are "wrong". It's up to the individual to figure out what is "best" in their eyes/situation.