I got a 3500# er from Harbor Freight. Completely happy with it. Hope never to use it except to extricate people too foolish to realize where they should not go. Seems to me I paid around $90 with coupon.
Not sure what you define as a ton of money. I have heard good things about the Badland winches at HF. I ran Viper Elite winches on multiple past machines and run one now on the Rex. Under $400 for a full setup with 65' synthetic rope and a wireless remote. I also have a Warn on my Outlander... it's worked fine too.
I bought a stealth 4500 lbs on Amazon 4 years ago. Sythentic rope - I have used the winch way more than the actual teryx. I've pulled 6500 lbs truck in garage dozen of times, winched trees out of woods, pulled skids with 1000 lbs of wood off trailer, pulled motors off trailer, pulled rocks (big) - anyway it works - I can attest to it !!
I run a Badlands 3500# winch from Harbor Freight. It's on the small side of what most people tend to recommend, but its always had more than enough power for anything I've ever used it for, including puling my stuck tail 40' straight up a hillside!
That was a bad day, we don't like to talk about it. LOL!!
I’m running a harbor freight on my Brute Force now. Seems fine, but I don’t use it a lot. I’ve used warn and viper as well. All have performed well and I’ve also managed to break them all. Warranties also work