I was writing this as the last was posted; entirely agree.
It is a mistake to compare telescopes to microscopes because despite being optically based instruments, there have been fewer truly dynamic developments in telescope design than there have been with microscopes since W.W.II. What has happened though, as an example, is that now one can buy an Asian made apochromatic refractor for peanuts when 40 years ago, they were a small fortune and even an achromat refractor with a decent aperture was pricey enough. Even the availability of decent rigid mounts at low prices has improved dramatically due to acceptable Asian mfg.
That same user friendly improvement has not happened with microscopes, simply because high end microscope optics are much more complicated than telescope optics; more expensive to engineer and make. With a telescope apo, you have a triplet objective, and much happens in the eyepiece , which is often purchased separately. With a microscope apo, a modern one could have as many as 20 lenses in 5 or 6 groups, minutely centered and spaced. One high N.A. planapochromat objective made by a quality manufacturer costs the same as 10 entire, brand new Chinese 4 objective lab microscopes. So, the Chinese industry has not really embraced making higher end stuff because they would end up pricing themselves out of the market. A couple of makers , Motic for instance have ventured that far but then you are into a mid. 4 figure microscope.
With a budget under 2,000.00, you are pretty well locked into a Chinese or Indian microscope if you are buying new. Almost all of those are stencil microscopes. Tens of thousands of them are assembled from a component supply in dozens of factories, and shipped with dozens of names on the same or a similar microscope, or one that varies only a little. They are utilitarian achromat or planachromat microscopes and the designs of the optics are roughly 30 years old, in most cases. Generally, the imaging is good but not great. It isn't going to get better until you blow more dough and buy into better compatible optics from one of the majors.
Some companies, such as the aformentioned Motic from China and Magnus from India are more dedicated factories and one gets the impression that they are more directed towards development rather than merely copying basic older designs. Don't get fooled by the ergonomic look of the stands. That is the easy part to make and it is subterfuge. The optical quality will still be about the level of a microscope from one of the main companies from the 1980's, possibly worse. They change the look of the stand but put the same 30 year old optical designs in them, that they poorly copied back then.
Companies that made first rate products at the end of the 20th century were, in alphabetical order. American Optical( not common in Europe), Bausch & Lomb( not common in Europe; certain production periods had de-lamination issues), Carl Zeiss, also known as Zeiss West( some older stuff had de-lamination problems),E. Leitz Wetzlar, Leica( not associated with E. Leitz Wetzlar), Kyowa, Lomo, Meiji, Nachet( uncommon and Europe only), Nikon, Officine Galileo(uncommon and Europe only), Olympus, PZO, Reichert, Rathenow(uncommon), Tiyoda, Vickers, Watson, Wild, Zeiss Jena also known as Carl Zeiss East or Zeiss East. Although some of these are uncommon, all of them made excellent microscopes, meeting full specification for their type and superior in most ways to modern average grade Chinese scopes. All had facility for trinocular heads, plan optics and in most cases better grade fluorite or apochromat optics, that are still around if you are patient and look hard enough.
My rule of thumb for buying a used microscope is to buy by condition and specification, not by brand adherence, which can become a kind of cult , almost a fetish. All of the above brands made stands and optics that performed to spec. If you were to try out each one of the above, made to an identical optical specification, you would barely find much in the way of difference. Fortunately, the cult status has not evolved for some brands for whatever reason, and that becomes a boon to prospective buyers, since the second hand price usually reflects the level of interest in them.