A VX-3, 2.5-8 is a very high performing, point blank zero'd scope. You should be able to pick one up for that, or a fair bit less lightly used.
However, what range will you zero for? How far do you want to shoot? Big game, I assume? Does weight matter?
For low light wooded areas, I'd say take a look at the Midas HMR 2.5-15x50. We expect to start shipping them in July. There is a choice between two illuminated reticles: a BDC style reticle and a MOA based reticle. I recommend this one in particular because it has capped turrets, SFP, and both reticle options are quite simple, yet useful. If capped turret isn't important, the Midas BTR is discontinued and out there at a discounted price. The Midas BTR is being replaced by the Midas HMR and Midas TAC. I think you'll find the Midas line in general has exceptional glass compared to similar priced optics.