Crow Hunter is offering sage advise. You will not go wrong with either Aimpoint or EOTech.
You mention your absolute top $$. You may be better served sticking with iron sights and learning to shoot that way until you can spend the $$ to get a higher quality optic.
I recently purchased a NIB EOTech XPS3-0 for less that your budget. The mount comes with, no additional purchase like Aimpoint. The item was listed on Te X as Gun [email protected]
by a reputable company. After my purchase, they promptly listed the item sold and are not offering at that price anymore, but they are offering at a price that is only a few $$ more than your budget.
Don't make a purchase decision for a duty weapon based on how cool the optic looks. If the weapon is just a plinker and you want to look good shooting it at the range, then by all means do that. Be Honest with Yourself about your needs.
I consider home defense to require duty grade. YMMV.
Good luck and God Bless.