Thanks for that (the questar-apo video)! I had a good laugh.
I suppose the desire for status, in some individuals, trumps any rational consideration regarding the usefulness of the object. People spend large amounts of money just for bragging rights. Usually, this behavior applies to large, flashy objects (houses, cars), or to more arcane collectibles (artwork), but apparently it also extends to telescopes.
I also hold to the "good enough" criterion. To me, that means obtaining the best possible mirror at an affordable, second-hand price, and then building a working dob around the mirror that meets my design criteria--because what's commercially available isn't good enough. The commercial offerings can be very good, but as you pointed out earlier, they are very heavy in large apertures. They often have a lot of mechanical "issues" that need ironing out, and sometimes the optics are poor. (And sometimes the optics are excellent.) So I have found it easier, and more rewarding, to build from scratch.
In the larger apertures, this approach can prove less expensive than comparable commercial offerings, or perhaps involve a slight premium. Hopefully you will not consider it too crass to mention actual costs.... I have about $1500 invested in my 12.5-inch f/6, almost all of that in the Zambuto primary. That's half again the cost of a commercial 12-inch dob, but still pretty good for such a fine mirror. And I have maybe $1900-2000 in my 18-inch, which has a very good OMI mirror: that's the same cost as commercial 16-inch scopes. Both of these have given me jaw-dropping views of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as beautiful DSO views.
As Russell Porter said, "the mirror's the thing." That's not a status issue, it's a reality in my experience. My approach: be patient, get the best mirror you can, scrounge for all the other parts, keep it simple, and you won't be disappointed.
Edited by george golitzin, 26 September 2014 - 01:20 PM.