It is the cheapest decent quality low range variable out there.
I like low range variables and I've compared quite a few of them over the last couple of years. As for the brightness, objective lens is not everything. Apparent brightness (there is no such thing as scope brightness since it only passes incoming light along, apparent brightness is a better term) is a function of exit pupil (objective lens divided by magnification) and glass quality, for the most part.
Optically, Weaver V3 was just a touch behind FFII, but very close. Either way at low magnifications the difference is very minor. Buckmaster does not have a comparable scope, but Monarch 1.5-4.5x20 was on par with V3. Yes, I know, for every other scope model Monarch is a better scope than Fullfield II, but several 1.5-4.5x20 Monarchs that I've seen were not up to the standards of the rest of the Monarch line. I have no clue why. I hope the new one will be better.
I am pretty comfortable shooting with both eyes open with 2.5x or below, so I am not especially sensitive to the true 1x argument, but I know others prefer it.