Greetings Big Sky,
I was in the same place as you last season. I have a pair of Swarovski 8.5 x 42 EL's and love them. I also have a Leica 1200 range finder.
While hunting deer this last season,In cold foul weather, I found it to be a great pain to lift up my coat and try to quietly and with out much motion, to pull out my range finder and get a reading on a buck 350 yards away.
I thought, boy it sure would be nice to have that Leica BR unit. I thought hard about selling my EL's and purchasing the BR's for (over 2k). On my way home from WY, I stopped in Utah to see what all the hype was about at these fancy Cabela's stores.
Well, let me tell you, now I know what all the fuss is about. That store is more like a fine museum, with all the life size mounts, fish tanks, boy scout tours and all. I thought is was great and even decided to contribute some of my money to them right then and there (mostly gifts for the family).
I did stop in the Bargain cave and noticed a pair of Lieca BR 10x binoculars, a pair of Swarovski 10X EL's, and a pair of 10x Euro Optics (made by Meopata).
I viewed these 3 brands side by side, looking at a ram mount about 50 yards distant in a dark area of the building.
I looked thru the EL's first and it looked as i expected. I then put up the Leica's and was very surprised to see how dark they seemed. Not at all what I expected. Having looked thru the old style Leica's several years ago when I was purchasing my EL's, the Leica's seemed comparable to the EL's. But I liked the lines of the EL,s better and the price was not that far, so I opted for the EL's at the time. But these BR Lieca's were lacking in brightness and clarity. I then tried the Euro Optics and Wow! They were almost as good as the EL's. And for $849.00, If I had it to do over, I would own the Meopata binoculars. http://www.swfa.com/c-1135-meopta-binoculars.aspx
Now I must clarify that I was in the bargain cave and all the binoculars I was comparing were returned items. But still, the glass should not be affected. They were not out of alignment or anything, just very poor brightness in my opinion.
After that comparison, I decided to just keep my EL's and will just have to get used to reaching under my jacket to access the Lieca range finder, which works just great for me.
I hope this helps some.