Ok. Everyone will probably have 556 or 223 so that's a good choice cuz if you need ammo they will have it more than likely. 223/556 is usually pretty cheap and easy to find....except right now that is. Light recoil off both, 7.62x39 is cheap and easy to find as well. 762 has more damage/power on impact. 223 has better range. Cons being ammo availability and follow up shots usually required on the 556. Cons of 762 is a little more recoil w less range-like 100 yards effectively less. So it baaically comes down to which you can find and want. Recoil off both is pretty minimal
both are good guns that take a bit of tweaking to bring out their best.
the main negatives i have heard on the mini 30 is that many report the mini 30 will have trouble with surplus ammo. many break firing pins on the primers, or don't cycle it well. idk why ruger wouldn't build it to stand up to this ammo. of course some have claimed their 30 eats it all. mixed reviews i guess.
so for your uses, i'd go mini 14....although 223 isn't my favorite round right now (being next to impossible to find).
If you view it as a home defense, fox, coyote type rifle- consider the 5.56 because it is a little flatter shootingxand has a quicker recovery time from the previous shot.
If you want defense against 4 legged critters and deer hunting, perhaps you'd be best served by a 7.62X 39. Many people have compared it to a .30-30.