First let me mention Homeschool Buyer's Co-op. They arrange group discounts from various companies for their members, and membership is free. Discount amounts go up as more members purchase a product.
They have a lot of science offerings, some of which have purchased.
Currently they are offering discounts on several Bolden microscopes through October 13th. Only now that all of them have reached the maximum discount are they worth the price. Shipping is $15 per scope.
My First Lab Microscope, now down to $83, is comparable with Kids' Microscope at Home Science Tool for $95. No fine focus. The optics are O.K. (some of my biology students use this model.) It will do the trick.
The Premiere Student Microscope, now at $131, is comparable with Great Scope's SF3 for $149. The SF3 has fluorescent lighting but no coaxial focus ($179 for that option.) Bolden is also offering a cordless version with LED lighting now at $137.
The Premiere Advanced Student Microscope, now at $197, gets you the 100x oil immersion lens and a mechanical stage along with the coaxial focus nobs. Bargain Microscopes has a $175 model with the 100x lens, but without a mechanical stage (a very nice feature costing $25 at Home Science Tools) or coaxial nobs (makes little difference to me.) Bolden's LED cordless version is $203.
Next closest model is Great Scope's SF4 for $209 (+$10 shipping) with coaxial nobs and fluorescent lighting; add a mechanical stage and the price goes up to $248. Home Science Tool's comparable model is $240 with a mechanical stage and fluorescent lighting.