Leupold is likely the largest scope maker in the US.
They are based in Oregon, and that is where they assemble all of their scopes. The glass comes from a variety of Pacific Rim countries, but the assembly is done here in the US and a lot of mechanicals are also made here.
The variety of scopes made and marketed by Leupold is quite dizzying. On top of that, if you want something they do not normally offer, you may be able to convince Leupold’s Custom Shop to modify an existing model for you (for the time being, most of what they do includes putting in different reticles and some additional anodizing options).
Generally speaking, I am not a major Leupold fan. I think their scopes are a bit overpriced for what you get. However, their reputation for durability and customer service is superb.
That having been said, while I think Leupold is seldom the best choice, it is also seldom a bad choice.
As of early 2010:
Leupold has several different scope lines. Leupold Rifleman and VX-1 are, in my opinion, an insult to Leupold’s good name. They utilize technology that was cutting edge about 40-50 years ago. I hope these scope lines are on their way out since Leupold now markets a more modern, but less expensive line of Redfield scopes. VX-2 and VX-3 scopes are the bread and butter of Leupold’s offerings and these are much superior designs, with the higher end VX-3 being one of my favourites. VX-7 scopes are more expensive yet, and, honestly, I am not sure what their value proposition is. There are a few different “offshoots” to these scope lines, like the “European”, which are VX-2 scopes with 30mm tubes and higher price tags that are largely unwarranted.
Leupold’s Tactical Division markets scopes that are usually called “Mark (something)”. I am not usually a big fan of these, but at the last SHOT show there was some evidence that Leupold is finally listening to the market and making some innovative designs. We’ll see how they pan out. Ask me in a year or so.