I guess I'll dissent from the ranks a little, I think the gap has closed considerably between the upper echelon glass and the "cheaper" mid range models. I owned a Zeiss Diascope 20-60 that I paid a hefty sum for, even 10 years ago. Looked through my fair share of Swaros as well. Are they better than the Vortex/Athlon mid range models? Abolutely! Are they 1500-2k better, I suppose that is completely up to the end user. I have my eye on the Athlon Ares spotter, seems to get good review and I like the usable range. Even with my Zeiss I rarely was on 60x. I might take the plunge and see if I can get by.
we run the swaro up to max magnification pretty regularly. Even next to my leupold, which while old is not bad glass, it is amazing what more we can see. Taking another step down from the leupold may make a scope not be worth the weight.
At $400 for the vortex spotting scope I don't think I have made it to mid range glass. If it isn't fine enough to count points then it's better left in the truck.
I like the idea of upgrading binoculars first though.