Updated in January, 2022
Inflation keeps on moving prices upward little but little, you can still get some surprisingly serviceable scopes in the $200 range. I know I sound repetitive, but if you are on a budget it is best to resist the temptation to get the most feature rich scope in the known world. Looks for something with solid fundamentals and strongly consider a used scope or a closeout from a reputable maker that stands behind their product. Visit SWFA’s Samplelist often.
However, if a brand is going out of business, I would probably stay away unless you are comfortable without warranty support.
My sorta standard recommendations for general purpose hunting scopes in this price range have been Vortex Diamondback and Burris Fullfield II. They have 2-7×35, 3-9×40 and 4-12×40 scopes to choose from with several under $200. Burris Droptine seems to be very similar as well.
Note, that I still have not tested the Fullfield IV is out that I have not tested yet. I do not know how long the older Fullfields will be available, but they are solid and reliable scope with good fundamentals. If you are looking to scope a 22LR plinker, Burris Droptine 2-7×35 is a really decent option.
Some of the newly revamped Crimson Trace Brushline products are getting into this price range as well.
Lastly, Sightron just announced Gen2 versions of their Phillipine made S1H scopes. They look to be reasonable improvements on the original S1 and S1H scopes that had a good reputation for being robust.
With enclosed red dot sights, $200 category is more or less owned by Holosun’s 400 series reflex sights, although the sub-$200 Vortex Crossfire is quite decent and well supported, but Holosuns are very nice and some solar powered ones are within a $200 budget. Also, some Holosuns have a gold color reticle that plays a little better with astigmatism.
With magnifiers, I think Primary Arms is a little bit ahead of the game with their Micro 3x magnifier that has ranging features.
With compact red dot sights for carry, I mostly lean toward higher end products, but I just spent a year carrying Crimson Trace’s CTS-1550 and it has held up quite well.
Unless you find a sale, there still aren’t any LPVOs or prismatic scopes that are worthwhile in this price range.
Same for high magnification and precision oriented scopes. If that’s what you are looking for, step up in price.