lumintop flashlight AAA - $15 looks great. output levels High 130, mid 32, low 5. that is a nice spread. however it is clicky cap activated. i don't want that.
thrulight ti3 - $10-$15 looks great. output levels 120 high, low 12, firefly 0.04. twist design. that is great. even if the twist is weird interface, that is still only 3 levels and twist is the preferred. AAA
surefire titan plus - $99 looks great. output levels 300 high, medium 75, low 15. actually this is an okay one, but i prefer having a low light firefly mode. that mode is very useful for preserving night vision and small tasks. twist which is preferred. AAA.
Get the thrulight ti3. It is best for my personal needs. While I like the durability and the warranty of the surefire, the durability tests of the thrulight far exceed any realistic stresses I would encounter. It is possible that it still works. As for warranty, surefire is the best, and frankly their beam pattern looks better too. However I could buy the thrulight 8-10 times before I broke even on price. It is possible that I lose the surefire flashlight, given that I would be using it in EDC, travel, etc. and not just sitting at home. The price differential is huge in this case and not worth it for my personal use cases. I could even buy 2-3 and have ones to function as backup. I would rather have two well and adequately built ones than one overbuilt model.
I would purchase through the thrulight website if possible.
I considered going to an alibaba or aliexpress link, but it seems to be difficult to find what I want and the differential is only $5-$8. While that is a large percentage, I think for something used this often, it is worth it.
One nice thing is that I would use it a lot, so the headlamp question is an okay one to answer.