Thanks for the information - so basically they are a scope and a base rather than a scope and a tripod, right?
Right. More accurately, a conventional scope has three pieces: a tripod (or pier), a "head" that allows for rotation, and an optical tube. A Dob dispenses with the tripod entirely, and places the "head" right on the ground.
If there is no GO TO feature, then is there any built in ability to counteract the rotation of the earth? Won't this be needed if I want to take any pictures at all of deep space objects?
That's correct; Dobs are unsuitable for long-exposure astrophotography. You can place them on equatorial platforms that track the sky, but that adds considerable weight, bulk, and cost.
You can, however, take fine snapshots of the Moon through the eyepiece of a Dob, and passably good snapshots of the planets, too. These objects are so bright that the Earth's rotation isn't an issue -- or is less of an issue, anyway.
Note that the 8SE is also not suitable for long-exposure astrophotography because it has an alt-azimuth mount. That causes smearing due to field rotation; the objects in the sky rotate but the tube does not.
As I said before, there's a limit to what kind of deep-sky astrophotography you can do for $1000. If you really want to make that your first priority, you best bet is to spend most of that money on the mount and buy a very small optical tube to put on it -- something like an 80-mm refractor.
However, that will seriously compromise your views; smaller scopes show less than bigger scopes. Mind you, that's not the end of the world -- I love the views through 80-mm scopes. However, they're nowhere near as impressive as the views through an 8-inch scope. If wow is what you want, an 80-mm scope may not supply it -- depending on your sensibility.
If you want to get the best possible views for your money, you should buy a Dob. But that rules out long-exposure astrophotography.
The danger is that if you try to get both in one telescope, you may end up with a scope that's satisfactory for neither.
Here's one way of looking at it. An 8-inch Dob is a really good visual scope, something you could use happily all your life. And it costs just $400, which is small change in the context of astrophotography.
To get a rig that's comparably good for deep-sky astrophotography would cost many thousands of dollars. So maybe it makes sense to start with the Dob and then move on to astrophotography when the time comes. Meanwhile, you can take snapshots of the Moon through the Dob and wide-field scenic shots of the constellations using your DSLR on a fixed tripod.
Alternatively, you could get a more modest EQ-mounted scope which wouldn't be adequate for through-the-scope deep-sky photography but would work fine for piggyback. Then you could get deeper into astrophotography using telephoto lenses on your DSLR.