Thank you all for your help. I thought I had my choice narrowed down but I can see I have more to consider, which is why I asked this question to a bunch of nice fella's like yourselves. I prefer real hunters opinions over sales people any day.
So I found a place that sells swarovski and leica 25mm binoculars and got a chance to test them out. The problem was they only had the binos in 10x. I'm not sure if my problem was I couldn't hold a 10x steady enough, like bitter said, or my expectations were set to high (maybe both). I couldn't get near as clear of an image as I get from my full size leica binoculars. I decided that neither pair were worth 700-800 bucks to me.
So it was back to internet shopping. I was pretty close to going with the pentax that husky had mentioned (it had the most reviews, probably due to the fact it was mentioned in field and stream some time back as an editors choice...it had pretty good reviews). But in the end I decided that compact is really what I'm going for in this purchase so I went with a $150 pair of minox 8x24. At least my expectations are already lowered quite a bit and there's a chance for me to be pleasantly surprised with the lower price tag.
Thanks for all your help
Anybody have a pair of Bushnell Legend Ultra-HD 8x36? What do you think?