Like anything else, there isn’t a perfect scope for every task. If you have the means to carry, transport and store a full size (77mm-115mm) Spotter, it will always give you a better view than the same model in a Comact (50mm-60mm) or mid-size 65mm scope.
Optics is really an area where you get what you pay for. We put a lot of time and effort to ensure that you are getting the absolute best option in whichever price point you are comfortable with, but there is a difference! As you go up or down in price point, your view will become brighter, and sharper allowing you to see more detail in different lighting conditions. As a general rule of thumb, every time you double the price, you will get a very noticeable change. A $1200 scope will be notably brighter and sharper than a $700 sccope. Not only does the optical quality improve, but build quality takes a step up as well!
This is a very personal choice. It will depend on what you are using them for as well as your budget. Our suggestion is to visit a store with a large selection of optics to try. Try a few options in the price range you are thinking is right for you and then stretch your budget a bit and see if the next level up is worth the difference in price. If you do not have a store like that near you, give us a call, we can help you out with some in-home trials!
Like most other decisions, it will depend on your uses and situation. If you enjoy birding, you will most likely eventually end up with both, but they each have their purpose. A pair of 8x or 10x binoculars are excellent for birding if you are trying to stay more mobile, or if you are looking at birds up close but if you are looking at shorebirds across a mudflat or ducks/gulls on the lake, a spotting scope will give you the reach you need! If you already have a pair of binoculars that are serving you well, it may be worth putting off upgrading your binoculars and adding a spotting scope to your quiver!
There are a few things to consider when trying to decide between an angled scope and a straight scope. First, who is using it? If you are sharing the scope with someone who is notably shorter or taller than you, an angled scope is easier to use. Second, will you be using it in an area with a lot of rain or dew? An angled scope tends to accumulate moisture droplets on the eyepiece a lot easier than a straight scope. The next considerations are a little personal preference. A straight scope is a little quicker and more intuitive to get on your subject, but has to be up higher to be used comfortably. If you are on the taller side of things, that means extending your tripod legs fully and raising the center column. In a windy area, you will have to combat extra shake.