I've had two run ins with Optics Planet, and yes, they were so bad I consider them "run ins", not customer service experiences.
If they were the only dealer on the planet that sold what I wanted I'd buy something else.
In regards to which scope to buy, it's hard to say without knowing your use for it. In general, in the $200 arena, I'd look hard at Mueller if you want high magnification. If not, the low powered Luepolds and such are good quality but you can't get high magnification from the high-end brands in that price range.
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.