G'day from Australia.
I have some thoughts of my own to share here, with respect to Sky Watcher and their 500p 20" Stargate telescope.
I also hope that Sky Watcher or a representative of same, is available to make qualitative and informed comment.
I have looked far and wide on the internet, for unbiased reviews of this 20" telescope.
Reviews that were performed correctly in a professional and unbiased manner.
Professional as in basic correct testing procedures and unbiased as in free from national (or other) prejudice.
I have used numerous search engines from many countries and have not yet found an informed review anywhere on this planet.
With this year's recent N.E.A.P., the consumer got the generic videos and pictures of the outward appearance and physical operation of Sky Watcher's Stargate 500p 20" telescope.
Nothing new there, as several 500p telescope owners from around the globe (U.S.A. and Australia) have already provided such videos.
As an informed consumer, I need more than glossy brochures and advertising hype from Sky Watcher, before I outlay cash.
Before I depart with AU$9000 (for the GOTO version) on a semi-mass produced telescope, I need a guarantee from Sky Watcher that I have purchased a telescope that is not a failure and thus restricted to low magnification wide-field visual use, due to simply being manufactured in bad production run.
On that point, it seems to me that clarification is also needed to match model numbers with production dates for these production telescopes, as there are several different variants in use around the globe, with the most recent productions containing 'minor' fixes.
It would appear that due to the current lack of relevant and precise technical information, that these 500p telescopes are "sold as is," meaning that the buyer assumes the risk that this product may fail to meet expectations or have defects.
After my extensive research on the internet, I believe that I am not alone with this concluding thought...
I will not be purchasing one of these 500p Stargate telescopes from Sky Watcher, until I see at least ONE unbiased professional review from an off-the-shelf randomly selected model, that has undergone at least the basics of field and bench tests.
I agree. SW is in price territory where mass-producers usually do not venture. It is one thing to plunk down $2K-$3K on a 14"-16" GoTo dob of theirs (non ultra light), but at $7K-$8K, you need some guarantees, proven performance and reliable support in case of issues.