Is the kowa for me?
After some research. The kowa appears to get fairly good reviews for a scope under $1000. Will I be happy with it or should I save another year and go with a swarovski? I am leaning towards the tsn-660 series over the 600, but wondering if you think I will appreciate the extra 6mm of objective? Also would the ed model do me any justice. Or is it a waste of money for me. I'm also bouncing around the straight or angled eyepiece. I have never used the angled, but some swear by it.
I appreciate your input.
The Kowa 663 will copmpare, nicely, to the Swaro 65HD. Not going to be that last percentage point as good, but you would be taking a step way up from the Nikon XL and you should definitely go ED and the 663. That ED will give you better images above 40x and you will see the difference.
That 6mm of difference between a 663 and a 603 is not that significant, no, but it does help. Really just a matter of how much you want to pack. That 603 is as light as it gets in a high performance pack scope, but the 663 is not exactly a heavyweight, either. You also get the rotating tripod collar feature and dual focsuing on the 663, but not the 603. You may find the ability to rotate the 663 to get a different angle on the eyepiece to be useful at times.
Yes, I would rate in the same class. Not quite as sharp at 60x as the Swaro, but still very useable at 60x.
I appreciate your time
No, I don't regard it as essential, assuming the scope has a decent focuser to start. It is a nice feature to use when you have time and want to fine tune, but I could live without it if I had an otherwise good focuser.