I bought a cheap Vortex 8x monocular a few years back for $50 and was very impressed how good it worked and now use the Diamondback 10x42's. They are even better. Maybe someday I'll buy the HD glass they have, but for now I'm real happy with the Diamondbacks.
I'm a camera enthusiast and something of a lens snob as it applies to camera lenses. With that said I'd be surprised if anyone was let down by optics comings from Leica, Zeiss, or Swarovski. I've heard great things about Tract Optics but I don't have personal experience with them. MEopta has always had a great reputation for solid optics as well. Might be useful to try a few pair in-store if possible around late afternoon and read up on what stands out to you.