Very familiar with the Dakota rifles.
Yes they are essentially a large Model 70 Winchester but way over-priced IMO.
And they left that bolt handle swept back which is not to my liking on a hard recoiler.
A lot of guys will kick me in the shins for this but I prefer the CZ 550 Magnum over the Dakota.
For a little over a grand in a CZ, you often end up with a shootable rifle.
Now and then one shows up that does not feed.
Then even with Gunsmithing needed to fix it (plus some cosmetic Gunsmithing if you are OCD like me) you end up with a better looking rifle than the Dakota and less than half the money invested.
The one CZ I have that failed me in this way is my .500 Jeffery.
My several others worked fine from the beginning.
Now I have about 4K in the .500 - half the price of a Dakota.
I don't even think Dakotas are available in .500 Jeffery anyway.
And my bolt handle is where it should be, not pointed at my knuckle LOL.
Velo, I've thought of a CZ (kevlar stock), and of sending it straight to AGR for their basic package (new bolt handle, new trigger, 3-position safety), with a barrel band and a trim to 23". But, with Winchester I pretty much get the same, in my price range and up front.
I've also thought of a MRC in 505 Gibbs (the Gibbs is positively magical) but, after all that Matt went through (not to mention, cost...the rifle, and each pull of the trigger), I've since dropped the idea. Some day, yes, but not now.