I suspect if my optic is to fail it's the battery, and since my guns are co witnessed I see no need for the QD mount. If I was an operator (LEO, Military, Contractor, etc) and really really used my weapon and had a chance of shattering the lens or something I would look into the QD mount.
1) Co-witnessing with magnified optics
; which are the types I was referencing...
2) a scope in the 1-200 dollar range can easily fail if dropped or bumped hard while in the field; things happen, and a gun with BUIS deployed is better than a gun with a busted scope in the way. [Obviously I understand that in PA the gun won't be used for hunting, but the point remains]
3) I like to shoot with the irons to keep a level of proficiency, so a repeatable QD mount is something I find worth the money to have on my AR platform.
If we are talking non-magnified optics, then I concede that the need for the QD is significantly reduced.
Again, though, I would recommend Primary Arms in that price range. I have also been pleased with their small red dot that is a clone of the Aimpoint micros. They sell one with an AR-riser mount.
Vortex is another well-received brand with a great warranty/customer service policy if ever needed. They sell a red dot optic called the SPARC. My only personal experience with Vortex pertains to the Viper line of magnified optics, which is out of the OP's specified price range.