I have two 40mm, 3-9X Leupolds, a Vari-X II and a newer Vari-X 2. They seem to have the best optics for the "discounted" price of $300. I think the 3-9X is the best range for deer hunting in most situations, though some folks like the 2-7x and that would work for under-200 yard shots.
People are like rifles. Some are tried and true, having great eyes, personality, and fun to be with. Others never seem to hit the mark with you. Still others go off half-cocked. Still, it's nice to know most of them.