Re: Opinions on 6 wt rods?
SdDryFly: Check out the new St. Croix Imperial OR Orvis Clearwater series. They are right in your budget (give or take $20) and the companies have excellent customer service in case of any issues with the rod. Both these rods are really good casting / fishing instruments & they both have 9' 6wts in 4 piece configuration.
Alternatively, you could scour the auction sites for a used older generation high end rod from the popular companies (SAGE, Orvis etc..) Issue is that any repair will cost you a good chunk of money, since you will not be the original owner.
Amongst the older generation choices, the Z Axis, ZXL, Scott S4, Orvis Zero Gravity etc are good choices in a 6wt but they still command a good price in the used market.