What is is best lever action caliber?

It's an arguable question. There are many, many loyal 30-30 fans out there. The .35 Remington hits harder and makes a bigger wound channel which equates to faster blood loss and better stopping power. My choice is .35 Rem. my favorite is the 444 marlin - it shoots a huge slug of lead at very slow velocity but at short range it packs a massive punch - its just plain fun to shoot - the bullet is so big and slow that when the light is right you can see the bullet travel to the target - and best you can get one with an octogon barrel which is just plain cool