Re: Cleaning optics
Since I almost always carry a camera with me when I am shooting and hunting I always have a Lenspen in the cameracase. For most lens cleaning, camera, binocs, scopes - I brush the lens with the little brush end of the Lenspen, then simply moisten the lens by breathing on it and then use the Lenspen chamois pad, going around in diminishing circles while spinning the pen a bit. By the way, Lenspens are usually much cheaper in camera stores than sporting goods stores.
Another excellent lens cleaning tool is the specially made (micro-fiber) lens cleaning cloth with the loop design that will even remove oil from lenses, available at camera stores.
I would much rather brush a lens clean than have to wipe it, but when your scope is so mucked-up that the image is in black and white, you pretty much have to clean it.
I worry more about scratching the surface when cleaning so never rub anything hard (Lenspen, cleanex, my shirt-tail or whatever) and agree that lenses work just fine with a certain degree of specs and spots.
Last resort is lens cleaning fluid on a piece of lens cleaning paper from Zeiss, Swaro or wherever I can get some but usually the little micro-fiber cloth or Lenspen does the job. Have used clear, clean mountain lake and river water that did as good a job as the cleaning fluid - no spots.
I have had a couple of nasty experiences with lens, such as dragging the front lens of my 56mm binocs onto a steel barb as I crossed a barbed wire fence and - no marks or scratches. Worst was with a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 ED lens that a horse put into a tree - cleaning that lens involved getting all the shattered glass from the filter out of the objective.
I find if I put lens shades on the bigger scopes the objective stays pretty clean and clear of dust.