Re: PERFECT GLASS... on a budget!
Alright, I'll probably get booted off this site for recommending this, but try the Bushnell Banner 6-24 x 40mm with AO and mil-dot reticle (item #71-6244).
I just purchased a used Savage 12FV with a Banner 6-18x50, completely expecting to throw the scope in the trash. After shooting the rifle and using the scope, it's staying!
FWIW, I've got both Leup. and Zeiss glass on my other rifles, but for a varmint rig I'm satisfied with the Banner right now.