So a buddy of mine picked up a used ED80 (his first scope) and some cheap prototype Chinese motorized GEM mount. The mount w/ tripod was literally $40 at the swap meet and well it was worth a shot, but it's not able to handle the weight. I lent him my CG2 with motor drive (I use it with my solar scope) last night and he was really frustrated by it due to clearance issues, running into the slew stops, etc. Now he's really frustrated by the whole thing and about to give up on the ED80 which seems to be a real shame.
I know he wants to get into astrophotography someday, but I know he's not willing to put that kind of money into a mount right now. Also, he got a really smoking deal on the ED80 and so that's kinda skewed his mental image of what things should cost.
So I'd like to give my buddy some good suggestions for mounts which will work well for visual with the ED80, but I'm a dob kinda guy and frankly I don't really know. He wants motorized tracking & slew. He doesn't need a computer to locate objects, but wouldn't be against it either. I've never tried to star hop with a GEM, but I imagine it's more difficult then on an Alt/Az mount? I'm sure he'll buy used.
TL;DR: What's a cheap, reliable and easy to use tracking mount for visual use with an ED80?