I am not arguing that there are better 80mm scopes out there. But I stand by my thoughts that sometimes people get too wrapped up in this glass vs that glass. If you are deeply devoted to AP you probably won't look at this scope anyway. I can tell you that I really like mine and views through it are GREAT.
What other new 80mm ED with the included mechanicals and accessories are there out there for $399 shipped to your door? Any 'FPL53's'?
You can stand by your thoughts, but that doesn't necessarily make them accurate depictions of the scope or of others' opinions which you have dismissed as "cork sniffing." I am most interested in how a scope performs optically, rather than in what the glass is...but I have found that the glass is a big part of that, and through the wonders of algebra, one can estimate the impact. By your same logic, one could just skip ED and go to an ST80 f/5 achro clone with 2" focuser upgrade for about $200 (I put mine together for less than that, but those focusers are gone now.) Afterall, 80 f/5 achros are fine scopes for richest field viewing.
I have learned to be wary when folks declare something is "great" without qualification of their statement, when my own calcs indicate it will have obvious color on bright objects, not severe, but visible. (I have even had folks tell me they don't see color with an 80 f/5 achro, and I know what things look like through a good sample, and how much they have to be dialed back for max planetary detail.) Some folks just aren't sensitive to blue, and they often have lower expectations of planetary detail than I do. What I have learned is that observable color blur is an indication of loss of some planetary detail and contrast near bright objects, the greater the blur, the greater the loss from a scope's potential. (And, no, I haven't found that filters fix the detail by eliminating the blue.)
Visually, an 80 f/7.5 FPL-53, 72 f/6 FPL-53, and 60 FPL-53 are color free at focus to my eye. What I have read in glowing reviews of the AT80 f/7 w/FK-61 is that it shows a little color on bright objects, confirming my calculations/expectations. It is important that people be aware of that difference/qualifier, rather than to just pretend it is a non-factor and operate off vague superlatives.
The above is why Teleskop-Express lists the 80 f/7 FPL-53 as APO and the FK-61 as an ED, and the latter for 70.58 euros less (about $86 difference.) Both of these have the 2.5" focuser so the price difference is purely in the glass.