My LRB7X50's sure haven't seemed to be "junk" for the last couple seasons ranging deer to over 1000 yds and large objects to 1500+. In fact, I'm about to buy a LRB7X40 as my only serious complaint about the 7X50's is they're awefully big and heavy. Rangefinder performance-wise I don't think one could ask for more without tripling the price tag.
I would agree with MOA. While I have not had the bino's I had one of their 1500 yd range finders. The range finder was a complete piece of crap. It would get readings at distances of over 1000 yards, but the readings were incorrect. It seems that it would not hold it's zero. You could go to a known distance location on different days and get readings from 20 60 yards different. I believe this was caused by the lazer not staying centered with the reticle. Optics are of course like most anything else, you get what you pay for. I shelled out for the Swarovski new 1600 lazer and could not be happier, it is worth every penny.
Are you in a hurry? I have a Newcon 7x50 with SPD in the post (I hope as it is payed for) from Binoculars Direct who were the cheapest I found at 749 USD who would export. I live in the Czech Republic but I am having the Newcons sent to the UK where a friend who has a Leica LRF 1200 and another person who has the Leica Geovid can compare them. I hope the Newcons will be in the UK in a week or two but I think it will be New Year before I get them. If you are not in a hurry I can post what my friends tell me. They like German glass so they won`t ham it up.
There was mention of the Newcons in PS August 2004 magazine, the person said the Leica Geovids have a beam divergence of 4.5 feet wide x 10.8 inches in height at 1000 yards (1.5 x 0.3 Milirads). The Newcons have a beam divergence of 18 inches in width x 26 inches in height at 1000 yards (.8 x .5 Milirads). In other words the beam divergence is less with the Newcons.
My own personal expectations are that I will be happy if the glass is better than the LRF 1200`s but obviously not as good as the Geovids (unrealist expectation) but I hope the laser will be at least as good as the Geovids if not better.
For me the speed detector is useful, the perma focus system is not a problem also for me the LCD on the Newcons is not a problem but if you are hunting in low light the LED of the Leicas would be much better.
If you are going to shell out for a Leica the Geovids are German but the LRF`s are made in Portugal (or at least the examples I have seen). The Newcons will be a bargin if they work as advertised.
I have also played about with Bushnell 1000`s, the less said about them the better.
I almost started my own company to bring out a LR in the early 90s. I did a lot of investigation on LRs, but then Leica brought out the Geovid and my prospective partner folded his interest.
The Leica Geovid has an extremely narrow beam diveregence. Beam divergence to lasers is what shotgun choke is to a shotgun's range. Sure, many rangefinders can measure out past 1000 yards in good conditions, but can they detect the difference between a deer and the tree behind it?
Unless you have a tight beam divergence, you might be reflecing energy from a nearby tree or rock. And at LR, it doesn't take much to miss.
In terms of beam divergence, here is how those LRs that I have tested stack up: