Great advice and something I wish I had understood before I started. It’s just too easy to get swayed by the idea of large(ish) aperture 8” SCTs with forks and computer control and thinking that “surely they wouldn’t sell this stuff if it didn’t work, how hard can imaging be?”
Lesson learned the hard way - but I honestly don’t think there’s any other way to learn the lesson (for imaging). Riffing on the OP’s idea;
0). Skip the mount, buy a pair of binoculars - see 3).
1). If you own (or can justify to your loved ones) a decent DSLR or M4/3 camera, lens and tripod kit - you already own a “telescope” - it’s amazing what you can do with one of these things.
2a). Start with the best mount you can afford (EQ6-R is a great starting point for example - the bigger the better - if you can afford something with a higher precision/build quality it WILL show up in your final data)
OR 2b). get a SkyWatcher or iOptron Adventurer style RA only mount and slowly increase your exposure times, get better at polar alignment, etc - use the money you haven’t spent to start saving for a 10Micron ;-)
3). A good, wide field scope is much more enjoyable than a long FL SCT - don’t let those pictures of Jupiter fool you into going long FL until you have your brain around a nice wide field OTA
4). Don’t forgot that looking through the eyepiece can be a humbling, breathtaking experience - so even if you suck at AP, don’t allow it to distract you from the awe and wonder that peering back in time through an eyepiece can give - start the night by looking around and enjoying your hobby before you let the demons of AP eat your will to live
5). Get a decent but not crazy expensive camera - full colour is sometimes sniffed at by the hard core types, but Trevor at AstroBackyard proves every night that a great OSC can generate award winning results
6). Buy an LP filter - again spend a little more to get a more finessed result (Trevor’s reviews are helpful here too)
7). If you can afford a Telegizmos cover, leave your scope setup overnight- you will get more out of a decent scope that’s ready to go than one worth 2-10x the price that you cant/wont leave out in the elements
8). Use it, suck at it, share and learn - if you think that Chris Woodhouse came out of the womb a brilliant photographer, well he probably did, but he’s a rare bird - this is a game of patience. If one target takes you a month, then let it take a month.
But back to the OP’s advice, save up for the best mount you think you can afford - then save another month or two and get a slightly better one - the longer you hold off, the happier you will be in the long run - and the good ones really do hold their value.
Apologies if that was all a bit off topic, but it’s been something going through my mind as I think back over my journey so far.