I ended up purchasing an Astro-Tech AT80ED from Astronomics. By the time I would have added a dual-speed focuser, etc. to the Meade, the price was too close enough to the AT80ED for me to make the jump. Plus with the Meade, I would have ended up with a throw-away tripod, diagonal and eyepieces. At least for me, the Astro-Tech was a better fit.
The scopes are quite different, and even with rings and a 2" dual-speed Crayford, the ST80 comes out to around 30% less than the cost of the AT80ED. That money could be put to a good, quality eyepiece.
I have an 80mm f/7 ED and an ST80 (actually 2), and they serve different purposes. My 80mm f/7 is not a grab-n-go scope (heavier and longer, even with the retractable dew shield), and I use it mostly for stars, star fields, and imaging.
The ST80 is a fun and very capable scope that performs very well at f/5, and for me is an excellent grab-n-go and wide-field observing scope. Even without the rings and 2" Crayford, the scope was a fun scope to learn on and I continue to use it. I set one up for my son when we observe together (even just last night).
I bought 2 Meade 80mm Adventure Scopes and gave one to a friend for his birthday. That one cost me $70, and the other I bought cost me $71. You can still find good values on Amazon Warehouse (just get the 'like new' ones).
At that price (which even with rings and the 2" Crayford would be 40% less than the AT80ED), it was a good candidate for me to upgrade and make usable with the rest of my accessories. I don't have rings on mine, but I would still consider them at $30, which would be half the cost of my scope! Just keep expectations reasonable, and I believe the ST80 will impress.
The ST80 (Orion terrestrial version) was my second scope, and in its stock version really enriched my burgeoning interest in backyard astronomy. It also made me realize I enjoyed refractors more than reflectors. It travels well, is quite sturdy, and performs well. I even did my first imaging with an ST80 using my DSLR and also my phone.
I write all of this for all of the beginners who might overlook the ST80, which I think is a keeper even after upgrading to better scopes. But I definitely agree with others that the accessories for the Meade Adventure Scope 80 are mostly very unsatisfying. I would say make sure to have a good tripod. The other accessories are usable and will help beginners learn the workings of a telescope, but a good tripod made my experience much better.