I'm somewhat close to trading my some scopes and buying an 8" Edge HD. I've been reading reviews that compare it to refractors. I understand the comparison and appreciate the time someone took to review the two, but all the ones I've seen compared the $1K SCT to multi-thousand refactors or Taks. How does it compare to a $1000 refractor? That is what I would like to know.
Sorry... done with my soap box.
Those reviews were “performance” reviews not “dollars per-inch of aperture” or “value” reviews.
What you are doing is taking one of the refractor’s weaknesses (cost per-inch of aperture) and comparing it to a scope that costs less per-inch.
One could also ask: Why pay $1,000 for only an 8-inch SCT optical tube when one could get a larger Newtonian and on a Dobsonian mount to boot for that $1,000? So why are you selecting an 8-inch SCT when a Newtonian will gather more light for less money?
One could also ask: Why would I want an 8-inch telescope that performs worse than an 8-inch telescope of another design?
A) If one is interested in the most aperture per dollar, the Newtonian wins.
B) If one wants the best contrast, light throughput and definition per inch, the apo refractor wins.
C) If one wants the most compact tube per inch then the SCT wins.
That $1,000 will buy you one from A, B or C from the above.
Once a budget is set, everything else becomes a compromise or tradeoff.