Originally Posted by tAKticool
MAYBE VX3 is on par with a Monarch, but this is $1000-$1300 vs. $5-$600... I LITERALLY compared two Leupold, a $1000 VX3 and a $1300 VX3L next to two Nikon Monarchs, a 5-20x44 and a 6-24x50mm , 530 and 600 respectively, the Nikon Monarchs seemed clearer, higher resolution, and 'better' and *LITERALLY* half priced.
I don't know exactly what scopes you compared but SWFA are offering the 6.5-20X40 SF VX3 for $759 and the 8.5-25X50 SF VX3 for $970. Did you adjust the focus on the eyepieces of the Leupold's you looked through? If you didn't adjust it to your eye it could have simply not quite been in focus with your eye. It is tough to get a real world comparison inside of a store as well between two optics.
Here is what the extra $230-370 get you in a Leupold. 30mm tube, which allows for more windage and elevations adjustments, so you don't have to use a canted base to get enough elevation for the long shots. Longer main tube which means you don't have to use a one piece base, which will allow more access to the magazine if you have to load from the top for the blind mag and single shot shooter. Almost one full inch more eye relief, which means you have more adjustment to set up the scope for you without the use of rail type or extended bases. Smaller objective bell and eye piece which allows you to possibly mount the scope lower on the rifle.
Seriously you have to look at more than power settings and price to make sure you are getting the right scope for your needs. Leupold isn't just sitting around and using the reputation they earned to charge more for scopes. Once you get to a certain price point in scopes the small overlooked features can cost a lot more to get.