Well, I would check out Glen Seekins for rings/bases http://www.seekinsprecision.com His quality and customer service is great and the product is very high quality.
Personally, I shoot a USO which is out of your price range. Mine is a 3.2-17x I know if I can't see it, I can't shoot it. For target purposes, I tend to leave it cranked at 17x. Anyway, both Nightforce and the high end Leupolds are good quality with good optics. Personally, for shooting mostly off a bench, I like having a 17 or 18x top end on a scope. But I've done plenty of shooting with a 3-9x and did quite well there.
So, none of the options you've listed are bad by any means. You may want to see if you can pick up a used scope, since you'll save some $$ that way. In my opinion, the high end scopes are all fine quality and buying used, you may have a mounting mark or two, but that won't affect the function of the scope at all.