(1) .30-06 - It's hard to argue against the 06 being the greatest hunting cartridge of all time. Deer included.
(2) .308 - Not quite as much speed or energy as the .30-06, but arguably more accurate.
(3) 7mm-08 - Flatter trajectory and more long-range energy than the .308, but with less recoil. Because it's not as popular as the .308, however, ammo is slightly less available.
(4) .30-30 - Its ballistics aren't the most impressive, but no one can argue with the historical results.
(5) .280 - Flatter shooting than the .06, but doesn't pack the same punch, and can't match the versatility.
(6) .30 Rem AR - The performance of a .30 in an AR platform. It's not completely mainstream, yet. But watch out.
(7) 7x57 Mauser -- Good ballistics make it hard to ignore, but its lack of popularity is carrying it toward extinction.
(8) 7mm Rem Mag - Generates tight groups at long distances, but might be overly aggressive for whitetails. -Christopher Cogley