You can do fine with Armasight, ATN, FLIR, IR Hunter, Pulsar (good company, thermal first rifle scopes coming out soon) and a couple of more, but the big questions really are what you need and want the scope to do for you in terms of helping decide what you should buy.
Chad likes lower magnification with some zoom, ostensibly for short distance shots (which is what most of us shoot, shorter distances). I like more magnification and run an Armasight 3x (zoom to 24). dfwroadkill likes more magnification and runs a 5x ATN with a lot of zoom capability.
Prices are dropping and new products will be announced at the Shot Show in January. So there should be some very good deals soon, though the deals this year over previous years were great as well. 2015 should see 2 or more sub $3K offerings. They will be less featured, maybe, but good for what they can do. Bearclaw has tested the Pulsar and has a couple of videos of it (one of the sub $3K unites). Scopes you can buy today in the $5-6K range were $8-10K last year.
So what do you think you need the scope to do for you and how much do you want to spend?
And yeah, lens size can definitely make a huge difference, but the lens is also where a LOT of the cost difference is in many scopes. The lenses use rare earth materials (Germanium is the common one) and are specific to thermal vision).
Edited by Double Naught Spy (12/13/14 02:45 PM)