I think it’s fair to say that every telescope comes with some compromises, premium or not. It’s up to you to know what you value most, and to seek the product that delivers that best, within your budget. Likewise it’s up to you understand which compromises you’re not willing to deal with.
A very astute & well-worded piece of advice...
... and there was its actual implementation!
I then made it a point to go to every star party (public & private) and to look through every telescope that I could, to get a good feel for the equipment we have available to us. Perhaps 50 to 60 telescopes total, to date.
Unfortunately, without having done the latter (a.k.a. "research", or "homework"), the former is well-nigh impossible to accomplish effectively- especially by someone relatively new/inexperienced to the "hobby". Hence, the iterative process of buying + selling scopes, looking for the "right one" suited to each individual, as is so typical of we enthusiasts.
But hey- i s'pose it's all good for the economy!