Many believe that illuminated reticles means engaging targets in low light, not always but sometimes. In recent years there have been some pretty exotic optics and many of them are pricey. You’ll be lucky if you can find a combat worth optics for less than $500 although there is a good used market. I have started out with many of the Eotech gun sights and have been very happy with them. The only down side to them is the fact that they need to be turned on. I know several people that have used them in Iraq and were quite happy with them but I personally do not like the idea of a long deployment and the notion that my if I run out of batteries my optic is basically useless.
Aimpoint makes some good stuff although I really don’t have much use for red dots. Red Dot optics can obscure a target and I have been more and more a fan of the new and smaller Trijicon ACOGS like the TA26SR. The green reticle ACOGS are out selling the red optics by about 4/1 and its becoming more and more common to see green lasers and optics. The TA26 in my opinion pretty much voids the use of a red dot and has a targeting circle that is on par with the Eotech gun sight. The clarity is superb and there is no haze that some red dots have.