On my MicroStar the AT72EDII focuser knobs are closer to up-and-down if I want them to clear the dovetail.
Field curvature in many of these fast refractors can be virtually eliminated or at least improved very much with the right field flattener. I've found the TSFLAT2 to flatten the field nicely in several of my refractors.
I have bigger refractors. But I want to use the small AT60ED or AT72EDII for fast, easy grab-n-go at my house, or to carry in a small bag to observing sites in my neighborhood (the local golf course, for instance). I can't see lugging my ST120, SW120ED or 150mm f/5 achro for a mile or so. Well, maybe the ST120.
All scope and mount setups are compromises. I'm trying to find the best compromise for these small refractors for me and my purposes. Going to a bigger scope isn't compromising. It's giving up.
I would like to experiment with a field flatter to see how it works for visual use.
I had the same balance problems to address with my AT72ED/AT72ED2 3-4 years ago and considered various options including replacing the AT72ED2 with something slightly larger that didn't have as great an inherent balance problem with 2-inch accessories.
A 72mm f6 triplet would be about the same size as my AT72ED2, weigh slightly more due to the extra glass, but might be easier to balance due to the extra weight being in the best place to counter heavy EPs. It might actually weigh less than your AT72ED2 after you add 1.6 or more pounds to you AT72ED2 to balance it.
An 80mm F6 triplet would be about two inches longer, so might be easier to balance due to the longer tube and extra glass being in the best place to compensate for heavy EP, and might actually weigh less than your AT72ED2 with balance weights.
An 80mm f7 doublet would be about five inches longer, so easier to balance, and it might not weigh much more, than your AT72ED2 with balance weights depending on how much weight you need to balance your heaviest EP.
In each case, the extra weight comes with some extra benefit, so it's not dead weight. Given a choice between adding 1.6# of dead weight, or 1.6# of extra aperture or glass with less CA. I would choose functional weight over dead weight if I could handle the extra length. Larry said the MicroStar was intended for 80mm scopes, so your mount would probably handle a slightly bigger scope OK.
My other choices for balancing seemed to be limited to sticking with lighter weight 1.25" EPs, rotating my focuser, or, adding dead weight to the scope. I chose to go with a slightly longer dovetail and rotate the focuser because it works fine, adds almost no weight, and costs nothing extra. It still looks a little odd to me, but I am trying to get over it because it works so well.
If you don't object to adding dead weight to your scope, adding balance weights will work and won't cost much. I tried it and thought it was the least elegant solution for a grab-and-go scope, so didn't pursue it.
Trying to find the best compromise never ends. At the moment, I am experimenting with a 92mm f6.7 scope. It's definitely longer and heavier than the AT72ED2, and requires a much heavier mount, but it's still easy enough for me to use for a grab and go duty at my home that requires a lot of tree dodging. However, it's far too heavy for me to consider packing it a few miles, which I do occasionally with my AT72ED2 to catch a view of something that isn't visible to me from home.