chris,Sounds like you slowly went to the lower models.
Generally people might try go up in models.
I have read a bit on the VX Freedom, supposedly they replace vx1 and vx2 claimed to be better than the vx2 it replaces.
For the money I would say it’s a Leupold and should be good for most hunting on most rifles.
When I have used better scopes I can see the clarity makes a difference . Is it proportional to the price increase probably not but if your eyesight deteriorates you might just appreciate better glass.
i started with a 6x on a 222, a 4x on a 22 rimfire, and a 4x on a 25/06.
this followed by a 3x on a 308, and 2 - 7 on the 25/06 and 270s.
the 2 - 7s were weavers and the brand had lost its optical qualities by then.
they were replaced by 2.5 - 8 leupolds for that reason, and those old scopes are still going strong.
various forays with 12x for varmint rifles and the afore mentioned higher power variables taught me a lot about the disadvantages of bigger more powerful scopes in general.
having a 2.5 - 8 is like picking the low hanging apples.
you will get more faster than trying to pick the one high one.