I apologize if that is a rehashing of prior questions but I've only seen posts a couple of years old that kind of deal with this topic. Seeing the Celestron AVX mount on sale this month (February) got me thinking about replacing my old LXD55. I'm looking for something a little easier to set up, maybe a little lighter and something I could eventually use for some basic astrophotography. I have heard mixed reviews on the AVX but some people seem really happy with it. I plan to use an ES ED102 or a Celestron C8 (I currently own both) with whatever mount I get. Judging by posts I've read, I should be looking for a mount capacity of 30-40 lbs. for best stability. Does that sound right? Also I want something that is easy to set up without a lot of having to train the drive (like the LXD). The Orion and SkyWatcher AZ/EQ mounts look like a possibility too, along with the iOptron CEM mount. Pricewise I'd like to stay under $1,300 or so.
There are so many choices and I'm looking for some recommendations from members that have experience with different setups. Reliability and customer service for questions and problems is important too. Thanks!