I've never had a hand in selecting spectrophotometers in the lab, but I can tell you from experience that we only use Beckman here, and they are very rugged and perform well. As a matter of fact, we are probably due to get a new one soon since the one we currently use is getting pretty old. Even after all this time of heavy use it still performs well. I'm not sure what the price ranges are, but from an analyst standpoint, I really like the Beckman models. I've used others at school (Hach and Thermo I believe) but I always liked the Beckman better. We currently use a Beckman DU 640 (probably not made anymore) and we also have a very old Beckman DU 64 which surprisingly works well still considering it's age. I've talked to collegues at trade shows and they like Beckmans also.
Hope this helps!