I have had 2 synthetic stalking rifles - Ruger 0.223 stainless and a Sauer 202 0.243" Outback. I can recommend both. I wouldn't buy a wooden stock rifle now - easier to clean, less maintenance, lower expansion ratio and lighter than wood - only negative thing is they don't look as nice.
To answer your original quwestion about left handed rifles....Tikka do now indeed do them left handed in most calibres and in s/s i have not heard any reports as to problems although quite a while back there was a report on an american site with pictures of a sako 75 s/s that had slightly self destructed, the details are vague and i can't remember what site is was.
You can also look at the savage range of rifles as they do lefties in most calibres as well and in s/s.
There is an RWS titan6 on guntrader in left hand s/s
Remington, sauer, heym, varberger, All do left handed rifles in 243 although these aren't available in s/s as a leftie.
Howa don't do left handers, shame though but don't be persuaded into buying a right handed weapon.
Dpending on your budget you could get something shipped in from the u.s as over there they recognise the fact that there are indeed a high percentage of us southpaws and alot of manufacturers do cater for us.
If you do settle on a tikka, check out the sportsmatch mounts that are available for it, If they're good enough for Accuracy international they should do the job, and at less money than optilocks.
I have to say that I think you're misinformed regarding Sako and their "bad metal", I own one, my 2 mates own them and have never encountered a problem, yes there was a reported incident a number of years ago, but that was quickly resolved, does any one know of any latest problems? I check the web on a regular basis and haven't seen anything?
Hi Cal, sorry you feel like that regarding SAKO, I agree that it's bad business when a firearm goes up, but come on and be realistic, all manufacturers of all goods encounter some sort of problem at one time or another, I also agree that you wouldn't want to be on the recieving end but I believe you can never say never! As soon as there is a problem most manufacturers try their damndest to ensure that it never happens again, bad press is a big issue, and nobody wants it.