I've just gone through deciding on a similar purchase.
The other day, my wife asked me if I could get her a telescope. Given the current set of gear that I have, it was a bit difficult to not chuckle out loud. Anyway, I asked her what she wanted. She's looking for a light weight setup that can be permanently set up near our back door. We live in a very rural area at the base of a mountain. We have sweeping views down into the valley where town is. My wife wants a spotting scope for views into the valley, and also to watch wildlife in the distance. She also wants something that can provide decent views of brighter objects in the sky. She's been reading about the Jupiter opposition and would like to take a look. I have lots of telescopes suitable for Jupiter, but I don't keep one set up all the time for quick views.
I already own a telescope that will work for what she wants: An Explore Scientific 80mm, F/6 refractor with a carbon fiber tube. I can set it up with an erect image diagonal for use as a spotting scope, or with a star diagonal for astronomy. I wanted to find a mount that would work for this, but also be sturdy enough to handle my AT102ED, or EdgeHD 8, while being still being light enough (with the 80mm) for her to just grab and carry out the door.
I settled on the Stellarvue M2C mount. I noticed that they offer this mount in a kit with a tripod and extension, but was concerned about the weight. With the tripod that they use, it comes out to 25 lb - without the scope. That's more than I want my wife to deal with, so I called Stellarvue and spoke with Vic. He suggested that most camera tripods would be lighter, but would not be suitable for astronomy use at higher powers. He suggested a Manfrotto 028b. The Manfrotto comes in at just over 9 lb, for a weight of about 13 lb with the mount, and it should be sturdy enough for even the EdgeHD.
I just ordered it yesterday, so I can't give a first hand account for how it works yet. But on paper, it seems to be a good match for our needs - which seem similar to yours.