If I were buying this for me, it would be an 8” SCT on an alt-az mount. Celestron CPC or Evolution.
- I like GoTo because it lets me view more objects in a session
- I like tracking because it, well, tracks the object I’m observing
- 8” SCT and mount is about as heavy as I want to fool with on a regular basis (11” is too big for the way I use the scope).
But based on what you prefer, I think a 10” Dob is the easy and obvious choice.
- 10” is way better than 8” for Saturn and Jupiter
- A 10” solid tube Dob can still be carried and will still fit in your car
- At f/5 it will be fast enough for dim nebulae and galaxies
- At f/5 the coma won’t drive you nuts and collimation is within the reach of a non-expert
You will need a good set of collimation tools (sight tube, Cheshire eyepiece, autocollimator). CatsEye makes some good stuff, albeit at a price. The little clip-on LED light they sell is well worth having for nighttime use.
Don’t expect to get any use at all from a laser collimator unless you spend big money and it is Barlowed. The main problems are that the laser will tilt in the focuser, and that the laser itself is hard to keep collimated. I like passive tools a lot better.
The main negative to the 10” Orion XT is that it has a single speed focuser. Two speed is a lot nicer and makes focusing more precise. But the XT is still a nice instrument and is very affordable.