Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:37 AM
Good question. I think that there's a different answer depending on whether or not you plan on imaging with the mount.
If the mount is for purely visual use you can, in my opinion, economize and enjoy all but the aesthetic benefits of an expensive premium mount. I recommend over-mounting, meaning using a mount that is rated at about 2x to 3x the capacity of your intended payload.
The best mounts I've found for visual use are the Celestron CGEM and CGE, and the Orion Atlas. Simple, affordable, easy to use, and for an 18# to 20# payload the CGEM and Atlas are rock solid. For a 30#+ payload (up to about 40#)I prefer the CGE.
For imaging, I really like the Astro-Physics mounts. The Mach 1 GTO has better than an Atlas/CGEM capacity and tracks to near-perfection right out of the box. The A-P 900 surpasses the CGE (and Losmany G-11) much as the Mach 1 GTO surpasses the Atlas/CGEM. The A-P 1200, for me, would be the ultimate semi-portable EQ mount, but I have to admit that the CGE is about as much mount mass as I would ever like to haul on a regular basis.