Let's not forget the Mewlon is coming out of the gate handicapped in that comparison. The aperture is 7 inches vs 8 inches. I know there will be those that will respond it's just one inch; yes, but one inch makes a difference with high quality telescopes when low contrast features are observed on objects such as the planets.
The aperture difference is made up for on the planets by the F/12 vs F/10 ratio which makes tack sharpness easier to find in the Mewlon. The extra 1" actually probably hindered the 8" as the brightness difference would change the contrast the human eye perceives.
Also, lets not forget the Meade 'mass produced' mirror/corrector vs the Tak's highly hand-figured system.
For them to be this close is clearly a nod that mass-produced has closed the gap enough where an $800 early 2000's OTA is nigh on par with an OTA more than 2x it's price.
For all but the most 'premium brand' pretentious it's fodder for not worrying about spending too much extra if performance can be so close.