For the least money spent low end Bushnells are a good value and still decent, best bang for the buck would be the Prostaff, if you could go with a fixed power the K series Weavers are both dirt cheap and very good.
My Weaver fixed K series 6x38 is as bright as my Leupold and my Monarch. I wish I had a 4x version. For about $160, they are hard to beat. If you have to have a variable, the Burris FFs are good for the money.
Also, a great scope for a compact rifle is the Nikon Omega 1.5x5 with the standard plex (non BDC). The 5" eye relief is great and the scope is compact and clear. They run about $220.
Being on a tight budget is a way of life for me! Last two scopes I've bought are both used Leupolds. They've been trouble - free, and with their rock - solid warranty, no worries. Seems to make more sense to me than to buy a new scope of lesser quality for about the same money. Something to consider.
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