Not sure if it is a valid way to pick optics but I tend to budget an extra 50 to 100 percent of the gun price for optics. I have had good results with this method, so far.
I worked with some budget scopes to the point of exasperation before I changed to this method of picking optics.
Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.
No spelun and grammar is not my specialty. So please don't hurt my sensitive little feelings by teasing me about it.