The Leupold VX-2 I just bought was $300, shipped. I like it better than my old Leupold in some ways. The power ring works smoothly and has a good bump on it, so it's easier to use. The focus adjustment doesn't have a lock ring, but works quite well. It has a finer thread than most and there's no slop.
The lower-priced Leupolds, through the VX-1, are not made in the USA and don't have a lifetime warranty.
I don't like the Nikon Monarch, because the view doesn't seem to go to the edge, but optical quality is close to the VX-2.
I chose the wide-multiplex reticle that has a wider narrow section. It seems to work better for longer-distance shooting.
“God save us from people who mean well.”
― Vikram Seth