I'll apologize in advance for likely being the 100 millionth person to ask this question.
I already have a 90mm AZ Pro refractor - I'm happy with this for a grab and go scope, and just for coasting around at lower power.
I'm looking to get a GoTo scope largely for home use in Bortle 4-5.
I'd like to be able to see some DSOs that would be challenging hand sight with the given ambient light. I like the idea of being able to have the higher magnification track for bit 20-30 minutes without constantly moving knobs.
Having the aperture of like an 8-10" Skywatcher DOB is really appealing, but monetarily now we're getting $1300 -$1700: there's a lot of options for that kind of money.
I'm not interested in an EQ mount.
Something like the iOptrion AZ Mount Pro seems ideal for: ease of use, loaded with features, and expands up to 33lb payload. It seems like a very future proof mount with a lot flexibility in how you use it.
Then it becomes a question of what OTA and also not getting into >$2k cost.
Something like a 150mm MAK is appealing for the size and not needing constant collimation, but then cost per inch of aperture is higher, regardless because of the design limitations and what's commercially available, 7" is the max anyway.
That's kind of where I'm hung up.
Does it make more sense to get the DOB - or get GoTo Az + OTA.
Or even, should I get the GoTo and trying using that with the refactor before worrying about what OTA throw on it.
I also know there are GoTo mounts in the $300-$500 that would be fine for the refractor - but all those are so payload or tripod limited - there's the part of me that thinks I should skip those options because you get what you pay for I'll end up needing the step up later anyway.
Obviously COVID makes this more complicated - there are not any meetups right now and let alone people wanting to share gear.
TLDR - I'm asking the existential every person who has owned a telescope has asked - please tell me what my perfect scope is!
Edited by ItsNotTheSizeOfTheScope, 01 March 2021 - 01:22 PM.