Vya Vermouth, both red and white. Hands down. Nothing else even comes close. The only vermouth I like to have just on the rocks with a twist. This may be a little difficult to get, so for "easy availability" you're down to the mid-level vermouths.
Which are the best easily available vermouths in the US?
Noilly Prat for white, Cinzano Rosso for red. These are available everywhere.
Which is a good mid-range brand?
Since the mid-range vermouths only cost around 8 bucks a bottle, and Vya is only about twice that... why get anything cheaper? It's already cheap.
Which is the best of the cheap brands?
Because most bars/restaurants use 95% of their vermouth in vodka "martinis" that include a miniscule amount of vermouth only as a nod to tradition. Since no one can detect the presence of vermouth -- never mind tell the difference betwen good and bad vermouth -- in a 50:1 vodka martini, why bother using the good stuff?
Might anyone enlighten me to why most bars/restaurants--at least in my experience--tend to only stock the cheapest most gawd awful vermouths?