I'm a fan of good quality, inexpensive scope and regularly take issue with the "your scope should cost as much as your rifle" crowd....
but claiming that a scope that costs $299-$399 is as good as a scope that costs $1200-$1600, well, that's insanity.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.