I have the Leupold Gold Ring and like it as a backpacking scope. It is light weight, compact and has great glass. I picked mine up used from the bargain cave at Cabelas for ~550 and have been very happy with the price I paid. Not sure but if you can find a used but if you can you would be well off. Plus, if you have any problems with the Leupold there is a lifetime warranty...I would save until you have more money. Or at least look for something used in your higher price range. Spotters are not something to go cheap on. If you are only using it to check something out you found with your binoculars, maybe. But if you plan on using it to pick apart high country, cheap glass wont cut it. You will get eye fatigue or just wont get enough clarity for doing the job. Another option is going in halves with a good hunting buddy. A fairly good quality scope is the Leupold gold Ring 12x40 with 60mm objective. It is compact, lightweight and does a darn good job. It is one of the better quality scopes for about $1000. Good luck.
whats his number?So now that I have also had some time to think, I am going to keep saving. I have a buddy who has been sitting on a Swaro with my required magnification for a while and I can get a heck of deal on it. For all intents and purposes it's brand new.
I believe that is it, and I am pretty pumped for a great deal. Now to find a way to fun it ha.