What sparks debate is that spending so much per inch makes most refractor owners insane. It's like trying to talk an elephant out of a tree when you don't know what got him up there in the first place. GN
I love refractors and when looking through them, I am constantly reminded why. You could try talking me down from the tree, but I am too busy looking at the universe to listen.
PS: But I also have a 12" dob. It does a fine job on deep-sky and is a fun scope, I just love refractors more. I spend five times more on my Zeiss Telemator than I did on the 12" and I don't regret it.
I think one needs to evaluate scopes on an individual basis as Tom Davis suggests. I see comparisons between a 12 inch Lightbridge and a Zeiss Telementor, a 6 inch ED refractor costing several thousand dollars and a 10 inch Orion Dob. I am not surprised that the refractors are more loved. They're nicer scopes.
My collection includes a 10 inch GSO Dob, similar to the Bill's Dob, similar to yours. I love the scope because of all the good times the two of have had together, the difficult doubles we have split, the times high in the mountains of the Navajo reservation, the fun at star parties, the people who have borrowed it and gone on to become dedicated astronomers in their own right. But, it has it's issues, it cost me $240 used, 12 years ago.. A heck of a bargain and a pretty decent scope..
Sitting in my garage, a gift purchased as a going away present for a good friend, is a 10 inch F/.6 Starmaster with a Zambuto mirror, a vanishingly small central obstruction and the rest of the stuff that can provide those views and experiences possible with excellent optics in a well executed design. So far, the views have been amazing and the scope is a true pleasure to use. If it were mine, I could grow to love it in way that is not quite possible with the 10 inch GSO, it's just a very nice scope and more capable than a similar priced refractor.
Somehow these threads end up comparing refractors and reflectors. I wish that didn't happen. Refractors, whether FPL-53, Fluorite, OK-4, other ED glass or achromatic, they have their virtues, their limitations. The same is true of reflectors. Personally, I find my Dobs more lovable because I am closer to them, I have put more of myself into them and too, they have provided me with more memorable views.
FPL-53 versus Fluorite: Both can provide essentially perfect views. Discussions like these, they remind me of a joke about two wealthy matrons jousting over whose diamonds are brighter.. The brilliance of a diamond mostly depends on the cut and the setting.. sound familiar?