I think quality control may have been an issue with this scope. I noticed the 2-color decals for Explore Scientific are also misaligned. Not critical issue, but one of those little fit-and-finish things that I tend to notice, and kinda bugs me every time I see it.
I've also had issues with the primary collimation screws since day one. There was one screw in particular that was always difficult to turn, and one of the others started to become the same more recently. I finally got around to checking them out when I had the primary mirror cell out this last time. Turns out that two of the threaded posts were rusting. Only one of them appeared to have grease on the threads, and that one was still clean and easy to adjust.
I'd like to replace the posts with stainless steel ones. And while I'm at it, replace the screws on the mirror clips with stainless steel ones as well, since those are also rusting.
Considering the conditions under which these scopes are used, stainless steel fasteners seem like they should have been a given. The black paint is also staring to flake off of the spider, likely due to the changes in temperature the scope sees, especially in winter when it drops below freezing. Maybe that's to be expected, though.
I'm also trying to figure out an issue with the secondary assembly. I haven't been able to properly collimate it because there isn't enough in-travel to center the secondary under the focuser. With the springs of the secondary collimation screws fully compressed, the secondary mirror is still positioned slightly off center away from the spider, toward the primary mirror, an issue which this video discusses a bit. I found some pictures of the assembly in this thread that have helped give me a better idea of what I'm working with. I understand now what he means by flipping the plate over so that the springs of the secondary can be recessed in order to allow for the additional travel needed to center the secondary. I can see how it would work, but it still doesn't seem right to have to do that. Feels like I'm overlooking another option.
Overall I think it's a good quality scope, but there are little things like this that I feel should have been considered during quality control.