You are correct, for the most part. You could spend the same on a nice 5" Tak and have a FANTASTIC scope. Cool.
BUT....When you take delivery of that nice new Tak, lets review what comes in the box. A really nice telescope. YEAH! Focuser and a dew cap - check. And maybe mounting rings. OK. But don't you need some other stuff before you can get first light with that gorgeous new Tak??
Yeah, you do. And since it is a Tak, for Pete's sake, you are NOT going to outfit this magnificent scope with bargain basement diagonal, finder, eyepieces, mount, Barlow, et cetera. Are you?
NO WAY, Jose. Lets start adding up how much more you need to spend before that gorgeous Tak becomes minimally usable....well, I bet you see the point.
I would be willing to bet that there isn't a single Questar owner on this group that wouldn't LOVE to have that 5" Tak. I am sure that some do! I, too, own premium APO refractor triplets. LOVE 'em. But I can also guarantee that the scope they use the most for visual is NOT the premium APO. It is. in fact, the little 3.5" Questar. Take it outside, with a TriStand even, with one hand. Set up, very accurately polar align, tracking in less that five minutes. ON A NINE VOLT BATTERY! GREAT views of solar system objects, double stars, moon, and the brighter DSO's. Only have 45 minutes before the clouds roll in? I had this situation last night. Questar came out, had a great time looking at Venus, Double Cluster, Neptune, Pleiades, and Orion Nebula. Clouds rolled in, so grabbed the rig with one hand and took it inside. Would I have done that with a Tak, AP, TV or other refractor on a portable equatorial mount??
NO WAY, Jose.
Each telescope is a specialized tool. NO scope does it all. EACH is wonderful in it's own right. You have to USE and EXPERIENCE each to appreciate what it does really well. I would urge ANYONE who asked the same, very legitimate question you raise to ask someone who owns the 3.5" Questar to let you try it. Only then can you appreciate what a complete, extremely portable, fast set-up and tear-down, pleasure to use scope with fantastic views the Questar is. Only then will your question be truly answered. And THEN if you decide you'd rather own the Tak, that's OK. If you then wan the Questar, that's OK too.
But when I need a scope to take with me on a plane flight to a distant location, I can GUARANTEE that I'll be taking the 3.5" Questar. NOT the 5" APO. THAT is why I paid what I did for this little gem of a telescope.