I am fortunate to get to use a wide variety of spotters, usually prefer to play with the high dollar ones when I can. Bottom line, Grouper is correct, there is a difference in favor of the big buck glass. There should be, you damn well pay for it. But that difference may mainly be seen at extreme distance or during really crappy light conditions. Or when you accidentally drop or bang your scope real hard. You pay big bucks to have the enjoyment of looking through the big, wide eyepiece of a Swaro, after a while that eyepiece becomes a standard you will compare others to. But for the money, I believe the Nikons are superb value, well built, sharp to the outer edges and very good spotters. Have used Bushnells that did a good job also, same with a Brunton that was a solid, bright scope. Suggest you check Brunton's home page since they have great deals on stuff they want to move.
Check out the compact scope, it is a nice spotter.
Nikon has some deals where you can get a pretty good tripod and window mount in a package, and a carrying case. Excellent value and very good optics.
I have used the Leupold line also, good but not super optics, solid scopes. I find ergononics becomes an issue with the focusing wheel, knob, ring on some scopes being handier and easier to use with precision. Some Leupies are awkward for my use, but a person can get used to a scope quickly.
My buds all use Nikons, they are completely happy with them. Know some guys with Swaros and they would not switch. You pays your money and takes your chances.
If you find a really solid ground tripod, please let us know. I am amazed that there is no reasonably priced tripod for prone use. Hate using junk, but most of the smaller tripods are just that. Quick detach is good, we need a small, sturdy, easily and accurately adjusted tripod for prone use that does not cost 350 dollars.