The secret that few discuss is that if you do this hobby long enough your tastes change.
Globular clusters are a prime example. If you want that YOWZUH effect then you want eight, ten, fifteen, twenty inches of aperture. The glob begins to glow with a 3-d effect. Most of the big tight globs do. The effects are spectacular.
After you spend a lot of time looking at glowing 3-d balls at high mag your tastes may change. That is, there's always *some* appreciation of the 3-d ball, but you begin to appreciate others. M56 might be a 3d ball in a twenty or thirty inch, but what in more ordinary good scopes it is a wonderful concentration of stars in a dense star field. After a while you might get a hankering for the low mag view which is by definition wide field.
Saturn, as I previously posted: yeah magnify the bejeezus out of it, but the tiny planet with its rings just visible (minimum is around 35x, 40x) in a star field is a whole different kind of gorgeous.
M57....lovely at 17x. Most of the Messiers are. It's not so that there are only a dozen or two objects worth seeing in a four inch. There are thousands....likely tens of thousands.
One should run, not walk, to one of Sue French's books to understand just what can be done with a four inch refractor. I think her columns contributed mightily to the craze, in fact.
I will say that for me the refractor came to be an acquired taste. I felt no need for it the first five years or so with my C14 as principal instrument. But then I began to see the point about why small can be good.
There is a psychological element as well. Once you have a meatier aperture you want to push *hard* -- gotta see that low contrast storm on Saturn. Gotta see those "three balls" that mean I have spotted Andromeda G1. Gotta look *hard* at M57 for the central star, or try to catch that IC galaxy near by (which in the NE is hard in a 14"--prolly not in NM).
If you have a four or five inch refractor and a light bucket, you *know* that on these more difficult objects the light bucket walks away with the prize. And so you are quite aware that if that is waht you wanted to do that night, that is the scope you would have picked. The refractor gives you permission not to try, just to *be surprised* by how much you *can* see. Thus I find it to be a nice low key way to enjoy the sky.
One of my best nights in amateur astronomy was watching a comet in Aquila with a dense star cloud. Kept me rapt for a couple of hours. Another great night was catching dark nebulae with a friend.