Hi All, I'm a longtime lurker and finally decided to post some questions. I'm looking to get a telescope after not using one for 20+ years, so consider me a newbie. My previous experience is on a 60mm Big Box store refractor, so not much experience. I expect most of my viewing will be planets and the moon, although I'm sure if the DSOs are rewarding I'd like to look at them, too. I'm trying to find something to introduce the family to stargazing, and if there's interest I may save up for a larger/nicer scope later. I also want to keep the scope mobile, as I live in the outskirts of a large city. I will have to travel to get to dark skies.
I want to try to pick up a used reflector on Craigslist/Facebook if possible and not break the bank. I'm looking at a couple of 4.5" reflectors (Celestron First Scope/Meade 4500 style). I've found a couple of these in the $100 range, and some have a couple of eyepieces included. They all look a bit dusty, but it appears the mirror looks like it's still shiny, so I'm assuming I should be able to clean them up and get them working.
I've also come across a 6" Orion AstroView, but it looks like it doesn't come with any eyepieces. It's listed at ~$225, which is interesting at ~half of the brand new price, but I'm figuring I'll have to buy a couple eyepieces and a Barlow to get started with that one. If I go with this one, I'm guessing I'll be close to ~$300 with the scope + eyepieces.
My gut tells me to just spend the money and go with the 6" scope, that it will be better in the long run. Will it really be 3x as good as an older 4.5" scope that costs 1/3 the price? If I go with the 6 incher, should I just buy a new one for $450 instead of risking half of that on a used one?
All of these scopes I'm looking at are on equatorial mounts, but manual only, no drive motors.
I'd really like to try to make this decision in the next few days so I can get some practice and take a look at Saturn & Jupiter on December 21. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance!