Re: spotting scopes - any bargains out there?
Certainly for that money you could get a Bauch and Lomb Discoverer 15-60 x 80. I think new they're around that. If I were to make bigeyes, I'd probably go to B&L for the parts. Not sure if they have fixed powers though. I have never seen anything nicer for the money, that's for sure.
If you have something that you disassemble and reassemble enough times, sooner or later, you'll have two!