You're on the correct track. I would recommend finding a bird shop or astronomy store who carries spotting scopes and try a bunch out. Glass through as many as you can OUTDOORS, and then compare prices which models you enjoyed viewing through. You can find pretty good ones for around $500, but I think the really good ones start at $800 and up. The Nikon Fieldscopes and Pentax PF80s were really fantastic for the price.
To start out, the Konuspot80 is really a good value. It can spot holes at 200 if shooting at a shoot n see target. If mirage is not present you may be able to see holes in the white at 200, but it'll be difficult.
Where are you located? I know of a few shops in the OC area where are great for viewing through a variety of brands.
Regarding tripod, buy separately and get a good sturdy one. Slik, Manfrotoo/Bogen are probably the ones I'd recommend. A great scope is useless if your tripod shakes.
P.S. careful if you get the urge to look through the alpha level glass. The Zeiss Diascope, Kowa Prominar, Swarovzski STS, and Leica Televid will make everything else look dull in comparison.
A good spotting scope is a really useful tool to have. I always believe that your rifle scope should not out resolve your spotting scope.