Bolt actions in general can handle higher pressure cartridges. There are a couple of exceptions. Lever guns can throw more lead downrange in a shorter period of time. Lever guns are lighter weight, again, in general. The fastest reload is going to be with a box magazine. There are example of both types of actions with box magazines. If you take box magazines out of the equation, then, bolt guns equipped to handle stripper clips are the fastest. It's probably a wash if you take stripper clips out of the picture.
Anything with moving parts can have reliability problems. Best thing to do is buy one of each, for "research" purposes of course!
Here's an idee. Write a grant proposal to the government to have them fund a "reliability test for firearms," to protect the children. If we're going to fund a cow poot study, why not something we can really use????
As someone said in another post it depnds on what you want the rifle for. A longer range shot with large clearings would call for a bolt action. That gun can take a flatter shooting round that can go farther. You won't need the follow up shots. You also will not be moving around as much. In heavier brush the lever action is lighter for you to heft through the woods. Its rapid fire makes up somewhat for your lack of ability to have a rest and take your time with a more powerful round. Hope this helps.
The bolt is stronger,more accurate and generally more relibable due to design of larger extractors and more camming power. As another member said,there are a few exceptions. The currently produced king is the browning blr-browning lever rifle,and is chambered in everything included magnums, made to be scoped,has detachable magizine,and has multiple rotating lug action. As for discotinued lever rifles,there's the savage model 99,the winchester 88,and sako. As a general rule,simpler is better for maximium relibality and bolt rifles have less moving parts and is almost always more potentially more accurate.
Personally,I prefer bolt action rifles over a lever action because of the general stopping power and accuracy.
As far as ease of reloading goes,again,a bolt action with stripper clips.
Speed of firing,I'd have to shy away from Bolts to go with a lever action. But as a personal preference,bolt action any day.
If the reloading speed is enough of a concern in buying it, you probably need to get to the range more. The two rifles are meant for completely different situations. My bolt-action rifle is probably as light as most lever-actions, but if I was on a stalk through heavy cover I would want my Model 94.
Two differant creatures, why are you wanting to reload so fast? and what are you going to use it for? and what cal?, If you want to shoot fast and reload fast get a (semi-auto) Remington 7400 with box mag, If you want true persision tack driver get a bolt, If you want a short range brush gun get a lever action, really need to know more about the application for this rifle to give solid advice.