If you are going LEDs, here are some things might help you choose.
1) Brand of LED
chips (CREE/Bridgelux/EPISTAR/ Luxeon ES etc)
CREE and Luxeon ES are the top brand of LED
chips and the cost is overall higher than any orther brands.
Luxon ES has better PAR output due to higher current go thru the chip and CREE is overall high performance in White and Blues.
Bridgelux is about 70% the cost of those top 2 brands but about 80% of their efficiency. For example, 60-75W CREE fixtures is about the same PAR of a 120-144W Bridgelux fixture when using the same current. However, Bridgelux does come with other colors such as green, red and orange etc.
EPISTAR is a more generic brand of the LEd
which made in Taiwan and that is what most no name brand low cost LED
fixtures you find on ebay is made of.
which is a lot more cheaper but you do sacrificed a lot more efficiency compare to the two top brands.
2)Cost of the fixtures, you will need to play around with budget vs functions.
brand name fixtures like ecotech Radion ($695? ) and AI ($399 for Sol and close to $600 for vega?)both are great and comes with many special functions such as wireless connection to PC
and add-on controller which can create sun rise sunset and maybe cloudy and lighting options. A lot of these are truly gimmick in my point of view. There aren't any Metal Halide has that kind of functions and yet people are doing fine under those fixtures. Paying extra $200 more just for those options could be way too much to spend.
If you go with some generic one like TaoTronic, Reefbreeder or the one I carry. Then you usually will save about $200 to $300 compare to those brand name one, however, you don't really get the full efficiency of the brand name fixtures In a long run. You also can do DIY, things that you will need to consider are such as, cost of heat sink, cost of cooling fan, how would you be able to mount it on your tank, would you make a canopy to place it in it? or would you just leave it lose wire around.
3) Color combination.
If you are running only Blue and White, make sure you have at least warm and Cool white and Natural white, because the Natural white will provide Red and Green Spectrum for your human eye and making the coral better in coloration. (no help for coral growth)
If you running only cool white, then you have to supplement with red leds and orange or even UV
If your LFS
is selling you something for $250, it sounds like a good deal, but it would be great if you can list what they suggest.