I own a 2008 (580 series) mini-14 in .223, blue steel, wood stock.
It is at least as accurate as I am, and fun to shoot. Ruger now sells 20-round mags for it at $29.99 on-sale price.They are a breeze to disassemble.
Ruger also now is selling the GB version as well (with a built in flash supressor).
Older mini's are supposedly really hit and miss with accuracy, but there is a whole industry built around correcting that. The new ones are a lot better.
If the acccuracy is not quite what you're happy with, there are several inexpensive after market things you can do to really tighten up the groupings (accu-struts and muzzel brakes).
I love my mini, but it is probably not what you want if you want to put a gazillion dollars of after market tacticool stuff on it, or if you are wanting to shoot 1" groups at 100+ yards.
Go to http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=86 for more on the mini.