As someone who has gone through the same process a little more recently than most posting, I feel qualified to comment.
Although I shot "FT" in the 90s, what I did was closer to SFT as I only used a 2-7x32. When I started again I made the mistake of buying a 5-25x56 which was not enough mag. I then got a used Custom Shop 8-40 for about £200 which was a perfectly good scope and more than capable, it certainly improved my scores over the previous one but I never really gelled with it. But it was when I got a new Mk 2 Nikko in 2007 that things clicked. They were on offer at Optics Warehouse for £349 so I bit their hand off. Just wish I'd bought a couple more, new Nikkos are nearly double the price now.
It isn't perfect.
It has a tendency to white out in sun in front conditions, so sunshade is a must (for this one anyway).
On mine the wheel is stiff. This is sortable but I don't want to mess with it right now.
And on mine the gap between 50 and 55 yds on a 4.5" wheel is very small (about a pellet width). Not a problem though. If it's midway it's 52.5. If it's between marks but nearer 50 then it's 51. If nearer 55 it's 54.
If I misrange it was my fault. It's either in focus or it's not, and if it is that's your range, it's that simple. It doesn't seem to shift at all.
It is dark at 50 mag, but wind down to 40 and it's like turning a light on, and it still ranges the same. So I've started setting it to 40 if in anything but bright sunshine.
And yes it's a heavy old lump but heavy is good, heavy is stable, as long as you can carry the rig from lane to lane. If it's too heavy when you're actually in shooting position, you need to adjust the balance, or work on your position
I'm not getting rid of this; I'll use it until it falls apart, then as the original purchaser the lifetime warranty applies.
A certain Mr Calpin got one round the same time as me (don't know if it was from the same place), and he's still using his. But I do wonder if Hammerite might affect the warranty...