I've got a set of Simmons 10x50 Porros that are bulky but preform decently well (and they only cost $20 ~8years ago), for a long time they were my default general viewing Binos. I then picked up a set of Bushnell 7-15x26 Reverse porros that are small light reasonably sharp but have some CA up at 15x, with their size and weight, and 7-12x being plenty sufficient for daylight use, having binos available wins out.
FedEx currently has a set of Nikon 10x46 Prostaff 7s coming from B&H, couldn't really justify the Monarchs as it seemed from all my reading the difference was aluminum vs silver coatings and focus speed, and I figured if I hate them, while I've never used it first hand, B&H seems to have a reputation for a good return policy and pony up for the Monarchs.
While I see the reasoning, I don't think Binos to camera lenses is necessarily a fair comparison, as with camera lenses there is pixel peeping and price usually correlates to aperture. Binos tend to have the same general specs across the board in pricing, and it's in the finer things that make the prices go up, the coatings materials, sealing for weather, etc. So those differences are more subtle and the image is there only while the viewers eyes are, and not encapsulated in film or in a computer or printed forever. And to that effect I think it's the usage that determines the necessity to go to a higher quality bino, spending all day looking through them, hours on end at a shot, you're going to have a much different appreciation for the more subtle improvements, than someone with an occasional glance for an ID. And when it comes to birding, I'm usually spending my time with the eye down the camera lens; though I could easily see others spending all their time looking through binoculars and grabbing the camera for a few quick moments at a time.