They don't make carbide dies for bottlenecked cartridges- you have to lube them. As well, a progressive press doesn't make sense if the focus is precision, because you're going to inspect the brass after sizing and clean the primer pocket and weigh each powder charge. You wouldn't be using many of the progressive features of the progressive press.Identity Thief wrote: My 2 cents says to go with a Dillon Press with the matching Dillon Carbide dies. And since you aren't going for making a shit-ton of ammo, the RL 550B is just about the perfect set up.
For blowing out ammo for a class or pistol ammo progressives are great and Dillon leads the class. But when you go to benchrest competitions you don't see people using them. You seem them using single stage presses to reload the same 20 pieces of brass throughout the shoot.
I think the rest of your advice was spot on though.
And you see people trash Lee, but I have to say the only dies I've had a problem with were Hornady dies. I've got RCBS, Hornady and Lee dies and all of them do their job except for one Hornady sizing die that wasn't in spec from the factory. And all the press has to do is apply compound leverage, so the cheap ones work just as well.
Now, if you are getting more precise about your sizing and bullet seating, you'll need to go with more expensive dies. But in the basic die sets ($45 and under), I've found die quality to be pretty similar between brands.