Agree on both counts.The Kowa is out IMO. Too expensive for what it is, no interchangeable eyepieces. I also personally don't like the zoom they used all that much.
BTW, Hensoldt/Zeiss had a nice 25x56 in the late fifties/early sixties. Very light (lighter than the Nikon ED50), AK prism, but of course no phase coatings. Something like that would do nicely, even though the Hensoldt was not an angled scope. But for a travel scope I could live with a straight-through scope.
The Kowa needs interchangeable eye pieces, as the installed zoom is less than world class.
A good straight scope such as the Hensoldt/Zeiss 25x56 with modern coatings could be a contender.
That said, quality really matters with this kind of gear, I remember a Steiner 24x80 rather unfondly, nice hardware but optically a dud.
I got better detail from my Docter 12x50 BGA binoculars than from the Steiner scope.