I think Stevey D made a pretty good argument in the debate. Not that I agree or disagree with it, it does have some merit.
I have a friend, that if he is in the market for a scope, will look at Leupold first, second, and sometimes last. Not because they are the best in any catagory, but because he can depend on their guarantee, and he knows they will perform to HIS satisfaction. He knows there are better scopes, but doesn't want to spend the time or risk the money on a brand he doesn't know. I think there are a lot of people who feel this way, and that is why some brands have such a following, and this kind of muddies the waters in the mid-range debate.
While I think at the top end of the resolution debate, Zeiss, Swaro, and S&B are the leaders, when you get into anything less than them, then the fight is on. What about brands like U.S. Optics, Night Force, Premier, and a few others? Are they mid-range, top end, or in between? I think the OP posed a question that either can't be answered, or not without a lot of argument, until you get to the top end of scopes; and I'm not sure about that.
I like top end scopes, but can't afford them. I can afford mid-range scopes, but look for better value, so I start with th SS line from SWFA. If they don't make what I'm looking for, then I get a headache looking for that good value (yeah, I got a IOR Valdada).
Edited because the worlds worst speller was picking on me.
Edited by BeltFed - March/29/2012 at 14:06