I bought my first Remington 700 ML 54 cal in 2002. I love it and wouldn't trade it for any thing new on the market today and would never think of trading it for what Remington is about to release.
Yes the bolt needs to be cleaned very well after a shooting sestion, a small vice with amounted onmy reloading bench provides a hook to disassembly the bolt. A small metal pieace could work just as well. I never lube the bolt with oil only Remington dry lube.
To protect the scope from the blow by, I use a bit of 3M clear duck tape. I am planing on makeing a sheild like sabotloaders with a 1/4 vent hole to see how that does protecting the scope and letting the area vent. The factory shroud has a small hole I think about 1/16
I had a # 11 caps non fireing issues so I did switch to the Cabales 209 Kit, the best kit of the two on the market. I also found latter that same lot of caps didn't work very well with my T/C side hammer Plains rifle or Hawkins.
I like my 54 so well I wanted a 50 cal. I shopped a lot of gun shops and on the net for one. I found the used gun price for them was running in the $250 range on average. I bought a SS 50 with the #11 cap ig. and a bushnell 1.5 to 5 scope for $225. I like itjust as well as the 54 cal. I have found it don't like 80 gr trip 7 with MMP sabots and .430 hornaday HP XTP's so far.
Your going to have people tell you, you can buy a new ML riflefor this kind of money BUT they won't be a Remingtons either.