You'll probably get a bad opinion from handling the clones, at least weight wise. Performance is hit or miss also.
Basically all three guns (from the proper manufacturers) are quite good and have all great aftermarket support. As with AEGs, they can be calibrated to your demands and it's more of an aesthetic issue. Go with what you want, what fits the loadout you're going after.
I owned all three, with a Tanaka M700 standing in for the L96. The M700 was something different, but nowadays it stands out less since a lot of kids get the ACM model. The Tanaka version is a bit more expensive than the Maruzen version, especially after you factor mags, but it's still an option. Consider the ARES models too, I think they have a few gas and spring models.
The VSR and the M24 share many upgrades and perform quite well after a proper setup. Basically depends on if you want the civilian/police or military model of the Remington 700. I personally prefer the M-24, especially since it is way more heavy than the VSR. The latter feels a bit toy like, as with their shotguns.
Accuracy wise, you don't get a major performance upgrade versus AEGs. The extra FPS most fields allow might seem good on paper, but many sniper riffles perform quite well under 400 fps. Stalker has a very good couple of threads on his M24 setups. Last I checked he was shooting 380.
Good call on trying to get your hands on the guns first, I enjoyed the ergonomics of all these guns, but I see how people might have issues, especially with the L96.