take a look at the Leupold VX-I series
a 3-9x40mm will cost you a little over $200
i have the same thing on my Bushmaster Varminter but in 4-12x40mm and its a great scope
good low budget scopes are Burris and Nikon not sure of any of thier models/prices i only have Leupolds
you could take a look at Mel's review of the Bushnell Tactical Elite scope
but i wouldnt go with any other Bushnell besides the higher end ones...
i looked through one of thier lower end models about a year ago, not sure the model but was not impressed
i couldnt see a lisence plate 100y away with it well enough to read it... i bought a Leupold VX-I scope and never looked back