I wish I could comment on the article but apparently their server is down at the moment. Maybe it will be available while I'm in my home office hiding from the last day of heat/humidity for the week.
As far as the 336's place at the top of the heap, I concur. I have not owned a Winchester but have shot one of their 94s in .30-30. My first and only scope eye incident may have tainted my opinion of Winchesters but I'm sure that's my fault.
I own a Winnie clone from Rossi in 45LC that I enjoy shooting. My only complaint on the design is the spent brass is hard to find in the grass and weeds when I shoot it in the back yard.
Pistol grip stocks are fine if they work for you, which seems to be most of the lever action shooting population. They just don't fit my style. All our levers in the cabinet are straight stocked. That's why my 336 is a Texan model in .30-30 but it's still a 336. It does have a scope on it but with QD rings and well set up backup irons.
FWIW - scopes are like bras, they can be useful but most of the time they just get in the way.