Well, it's clear to me that this is anything but clear. As I said, a scope is still a little ways into the future for me so all the insight is helpful as I consider my options.
A point of clarification with regards to the gentleman I mentioned. He did say that his goal was to hit a human, not "drive a tack at 1,000 yards." (Paraphrasing.) And in comparison to hunting deer or elk, he made the point that even hitting a guy in the hand will put him out of the fight. Perhaps not as ideal as a direct, center mass hit, but it'll prevent the bad guy from returning fire effectively. As with everything, I guess your purpose and parameters in which you're shooting really drives the decision.
I suppose with the mirage issue, even if you have a higher-powered scope, leaving it at a lower setting would negate this issue. No?
As to quality of scopes, in a similar price point, will you generally get a better quality scope with a smaller range, e.g. 3-9x, than you would with a larger range, e.g. 8-32x?
Labor Day calls...
The state that too strictly distinguishes its warriors from its scholars will have its fighting done by cowards and its thinking done by fools.
Kahr PM9, Springfiled XD9, Browning BPS 12Ga., Browning SA-22.