I have a 3-9 on my 22LR!
8-32's on everything else. I did have a 20x once but I got rid of it.
As far as I'm concerned, for a carry gun, I'd rather have iron sights. There's less weight to carry around and less worry about bumping. I've shot off a bench better with match peep sights than with a 3-9 scope (by a long shot) so if the item is not far enough away to warrant more mag, I'd rather not have the low power scope to deal with.
The majority of my shooting is at paper or steel. I would say that holds true for everyone here. Please, anyone out here who reads this and DOES NOT shoot more rounds at targets in practice than they do at game, raise your hand... I've become compfortable with the scopes I have and don't mind hunting with them just the way they are. I've even used an 8-32 on a carry gun in the woods. Turn it to 8x and go. I don't shoot at stuff that's running anymore, and neither do _most- of the people on this forum, so I would get a scope that I'm happy target shooting with, and then hunt with it. If it's woodchucks or crows your after, you need something more than a 14x (in my opinion) even for the ranges of a bone stock Varmint series 22 cal. If you're trying to really place a shot at 500-1000 off a bipod on a deer, more is better, to an extent, and depending on the quality of scope. I've shot deer with a 20x, but I like to see better than that. Again, personal preference.
I read peoples posts and questions on this forum discussing "too much scope" and "how much magnification is too much" and I just have to laugh. Now, why the hell can't these people who bought a 6.5-20Leu, use a 10-40 and turn it DOWN. Are we saying that if they bought a 12-42 NF that there would come a time that 12x would still be TOO MUCH on a long range gun?? What planet is everyone from. I would say that 20x is not enough a hell of a lot more often than 12x is too much.
For the Leupold guys with an 8.5x-25 ... Did Leupold weld the power ring on at 25X???
I think the question of "what scope" can be answered by anyone who owned a 3-9x on a carry hunting rifle. How many times did you REALLY use it at 3x at say 100 yards? Hmmm, not very many huh. So now you're gonna hunt game at 10 times the range with twice the optics.
For the majority of people, they buy what they like and can afford. For some, cost is not the issue. For some, cost is not the issue even though they really can't afford what they get. I'm not to proud to say cost IS an issue and I still probably overspend like many people here. However, I don't often spend twice for the same item, though I have. I have used Burris scopes for a long time and I'm relativly brand loyal when I think what I buy is of good quality. I would like to try a NF, but I'm gonna have to see a finer reticle before I overspend myself on one of them. I simply don't like the crosshairs in them and if I'm gonna spend twice the money, i'm not going to look in it and be dissapointed in the thickness of the crosshairs, knowing I won't be happy, even before I buy. That'd be like buying a red car just to try a new brand even though you know you hate red cars. How much do you think you'll like the new car. When the day comes that I do get one, I'm not gettin a 20x because "that's enough".
I have no interest in shooting woodchucks at 200 yards, so what could I possibly want a 4.5-14 scope for, My ruger 77-22 ? Perhaps...