I've been doing a lot of casual online research on 22 rifles the past few months as my interest in casual plinking has been renewed, and I think "which" rifle each of us prefers is akin to the "Ford vs Chevy" argument in vehicles.
For example there are apparently a bazillion and six very happy Ruger 10/22 owners out there, just plinking away at paper and small critters who are absolutely in love with their Rugers.
I have yet to find a Henry owner complaining about his/her Henry rifle.. The only issue that I see mentioned from time to time is the plated receiver, or some such, and even that is always generated from someone who loves another manufacturer (Generally Marlin 39's) and hasn't even shot one.
I'm thinking any Ruger 10/22, or Henry, plated receiver and all, will shoot more accurately, and live longer than you or I. (Well, me for certain, I'm 68).
So it boils down to personal preference, and that personal preference thing is undefinable and often makes absolutely no sense to an onlooker with a different perspective..
I love 22 rifles.. My little stash now includes: 1 1996 Marlin 39A.. It has the "rebounding hammer/cross block safety" often criticized by those who like "older" 39A's, but it's a darn "tack driver", and the rebounding hammer/cross block safety simply don't bother me. I love the 39A, and it "oozes" quality.. I like that.
I have 2 Browning SA22's.. One bought NIB, one bought used.. I love 'em both. Perfect plinkers w/factory sights, light and just fun shooters. They are accurate, and also have a quality "feel" about them.
I have two 1970 Marlin Model 39, Century Limiteds.. I really like 'em.. Sweet little carbines, basically "blinged up" Mounties as I understand it. The actions of both CL's ARE smoother than that of my 1996 39A, but I believe my 39A was seldom shot, and gets smoother the more I shoot it.
I bought a NIB Winchester 63 (Miroku) and it's a whole 'nother deal than the others.. Wood and metal are very nice, and it shoots like a dream. If I were comparing it using cars as an analogy I'd say it's the Cadillac (back when Cadillac WAS the measuring stick for American car quality) of the bunch..
It was surprisingly accurate right out of the box, and I really, really like it.
I even have a pristine Remington 552, recently inherited. As with my other rimfire rifles the 552 is capable of more accuracy than my old body (eyes/hands) can take advantage of.
IF all of my other rifles somehow left me I'd be well armed, (in a rimfire rifle) with my deceased FIL's Remington 552.. The Remington 552 will do the "job" as well as any of the others, altho it's not quite as "tack driving" accurate as the 39A or Winchester 63 it would certainly be capable of putting tree rats in the pot with no problem it it were necessary.
I considered the fine Browning lever action (BL22?), but when I saw the trigger leaving the stock with the lever when being cocked I just couldn't get around the fact that that didn't "seem" right.
I know it's a fine rifle, but I like my trigger stuck in the stock, not stuck in the lever.. Nothing wrong with it, mind you, I just didn't care for it.
No 10/22's in my stash.. No Henry's in my stash..
But, those excellent rifles are not in my stash because they lack function, accuracy, or overall quality, I just enjoy having something a bit different, and that's personal preference, not a put-down of the fine Ruger or Henry.
No offense to anybody (you can add my name to that list of folks whose butt you can whip), just expressing my opinion on why I have spent all of my play money on the choices I made in rim fire rifles, and why I have chosen to by-pass two in particular that are highly regarded by many others.
P.S. I always love the gun I bought last, the most...