You're always helpful.
I can guarantee that you'll get some disagreement on that! But thanks.
As to your other question - it's really hard to answer w'out knowing your preferences, but it's a fair question.
First, know that not all wines improve. Some hang on, some die out, and a very few really improve with time. By improve, I don't mean that they just get a little softer, I mean that they evolve into something more complex and hopefully, better.
Given the two parameters of your budget and your desire to drink something right away too, here's a stab at it - you can try Ridge zinfandels like Lytton or Geyserville - they have track records of lasting many many years. And they become something VERY different with age, even tho you can drink them right away. They're only around $30-$40. Last week I had a 1995, week before that a 1989. Nice wines.
Or you can get something Spanish. A new style Rioja like the 2001 Roda I is about $60 and drinks well now and for years to come, evoloving over time. Great stuff! Or something like a 2001 Ribera del Duero, say Alion. About $60, GREAT today, good for decades. The 2004s are good too, but are likely to be more expensive these days.
Or both, since they'll come in under your budget and will definitely reward cellaring. If you come to NYC, let me know and we'll open some so you can see.
The reason I suggested those is that they drink well now, they change, and they're good illustrations of how a wine develops.
There are probably thousands of other possibilities. Many many more say from Italy, France, Washington, etc., For example, some of the right Bank Bordeaux from a vintage like 1998. Some very good stuff there.
There's a lot of things that are much more expensive, but I don't think paying a lot more necessarily gives you a more rewarding experience. Good luck
You could certainly look at some Bordeaux, not the First or Second Growths maybe, but the problem is that they might not be all that great right now.