Pretty impressive showing for the Sky-Watcher.
However, I wonder how consistent from sample to sample? There was a recent thread where one arrived with the worst coating job I have ever seen.
Tak certainly has a lockdown on QC - they don't let bad ones out the door.
Also objectively, Taks are simply gorgeous, well made instruments. SW are very crude looking in comparison, and the atrocious sparkle paint with white trim is more akin to "My little Pony" than to a beautiful telescope. All IMHO of course.
JakeJ, if we speak about visual design here... I bought the Orion version because the sparkle-glossy style of Skywatcher really didn't attract me (to say the least). My little pony is an accurate reference. The Orion is a simple grey mat, nothing fancy, but the finish was very good on mine, giving a true feeling of quality (well, now it's customized/spoiled with insulation anyway...).
But... I am very disappointed by the Mewlon, and Takahashi in general. I've been a while ago student in applied arts, and read on Cloudy Nights a lot about these fantastic telescopes... so I imagine a beautiful device and make a Google image search... and I see these white + light grey tubes, which is a color combination reminding domestic appliance goods, or outdated hospital instruments. What? Is this the Ferrari of astronomy?
Disclaimer: I speak about visual design only, certainly not mechanical or optical quality, which are I know excellent, and the most important is what is in the eyepiece. I assume my comment to be superficial.
For their price, Takahashi could make an effort and give another look to their scopes. Paradoxally, they have the best reputation of quality but put on the market the worst looking instruments, tied with these table-top dobsons with galaxies printed on the tube. It's too bad that with their optical quality, they don't put some effort to reach the same level for the telescope appearance.
From a more serious point of view, I have the 6 inches version of the Synta, and am very happy with it, and would be happy to take a look in a Takhashi one day!