Don't get the SE, with your budget you want an EVO, they are ridiculously better and hold the 8" much better and even a 9.25" if you want.
EDIT: I have the CPC800 which is the same scope on a stupid heavy 2 arm mount. You can see a ton with this with the only drawback being a somewhat narrower field of view (true of all SCT's)
I got around that by getting a 2" visual back and diagonal and then got 2" eyepieces which allow much wider angle views. The 82 degree stuff tends to be the sweet spot between wide and heavy/expensive but I use mostly 100 degree stuff which costs a ton more and is like the holy hand grenade of astronomy (what I actually called my 9mm 120 degree eyepiece).
Pick the 8" EVO and try different eyepiece combos to see what suits you.
2nd edit: Some 82 degree lineups switch from 1.25" barrel to 2" midway through so watch out for that.
Also consider the celestron F6.3 reducer corrector as a way to make a 1.25" eyepiece setup have a wider brighter view with the same eyepieces (with reduced magnification). you can actually select in in that field of view calculator
The 9.25" is like $750 more
That link is the board sponsor and they offer a discount to varying degrees to board members.
Edited by PPPPPP42, 18 January 2022 - 07:08 PM.