I'm glad this thread has taken a life of its own. I just wish more than a couple of people had actually answered the question I originally asked. I guess no one wants to, though. That's just as informative.
There is a reason for this.
If you were to ask others to recommend scopes, then you would get lots of responses from folks happy with their equipment. Curiously you will see people who are insanely happy with a scope another would not recommend. It is just easier to tell others about something you are happy with. And there is no way to argue with the fact that another is happy with their equipment, so it is also a safe posting.
Now turn that around like you asked, for equipment to avoid. Now we get into dangerous territory! Why? Simple, I can argue with you until the swallows come back to Capistrano about whatever you might have said in the negative. I mean, so you got a bad telescope. You might say they are all bad but then you cannot prove that as all you had is one of the hundreds to thousands produced. Was it really bad or were you just unskilled in using it? So it came to you out of collimation, big deal, re-collimating is a simple skill to learn. Complaining about collimation is sort of like complaining that you need to change tires and oil and breaks in a car. It's just routine maintenance. Anyone who even breathes that some branding has poor QC actually has zero legs to stand on because they do not have a statistical sampling to determine that. And if you've read 4 posts over the years on that scope big deal as hundreds or thousands may have been produced. So basically if someone were to suggest, as you asked, to steer away from a branding/model, they would need a boat load of proprietary sales and return information that no one here has in order to even begin to make a case. So really, one should never avoid any branding, what they should avoid is the presumption that some branding is always good or always bad or always someplace in the middle because that attitude means one is doing no assessment for themselves on the particular unit that they purchased prior to purchasing it, or that they have not bothered to ensure a vendor has adequate return policy so they can check it out for themselves and return if necessary. So encouraging unskilled at being consumers to remain as such. There is no perfect branding. All...ALL...have put out units in the marketplace which needed to be returned. It is a fact of production.
So the upshot is that there is no telescope to avoid. Instead what one needs to avoid is staying unacknowledged and unskilled in areas where they have interest and will expend resources. So that consumer attitude is what needs to be avoided. So when one hears or reads the phrase "Consumer Beware", it also means Consumer Become Educated! All products are potentially excellent for their intended purpose by the individual consumer (we do not all use them exactly the same). So do not avoid any telescope, instead approach each one you are interested in with a critical, discerning, and knowledgeable eye about every aspect of it and evaluate for yourself how each of those parameters of the product you inspect will fully, partially, or not meet your intended needs. This of course means that first and foremost the consumer must discover all the impacting parameters, and then understand their own needs. Sometimes the latter is the biggest unknown, which means that they are not really ready to buy yet and should not buy yet.
Edited by BillP, 07 April 2021 - 04:05 PM.