I've found the same to be true here at my observing locations here in N.E. Ohio! The optics in my scopes always perform well under steady skies when seeing and transparency are above average. I've noticed this with my long and short focus refractors, Newtonians and CATS. No matter how good the scope's optics are, poor seeing will always yield a poor image.
In scientific/legal/logical debate terms,
you flag the whole debate on "relevance".
Seeing can devastate any kind of performance.
For me, that is especially true, in Northeastern Mass.
I can't see any of the above digging me out of a bad sky.
Point taken. A lot of soup up there.
I like the stray-light/baffling point,
but that just helps with collateral light pollution, another matter
that only compounds seeing problems.
So...why does some little difference at the highest power
matter when the seeing is bad?
Here is a case that extends your point at the cheap end:
long ago, before I did much with telescopes, I hiked up to
a mediocre 3500ft summit in Maine, not super high.
I had a 20mm orthoscopic, nicely cleaned,
in a garage sale Jason Spacemaster scope,
nicely cleaned (and nicely baffled!) 60mm by 800mm.
I still remember the images. I have rarely seen sharper since.
(the mount had the rickets real bad, though).
I can't argue with your point..
We're discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin here.
"Scientific Proof" is not done by equations.
Theory drives equations that make predictions that are proven
by corroborating experiments. That all gets tossed if there is a
common factor that makes the point moot.
Edited by MartinPond, 11 April 2021 - 08:39 PM.