The constraints are: needs to be operable in a 2.1m dome, plus no more expensive than an 11″ RASA and with at least as much light grasp. I’m using an EQ6Pro, so I know I probably need to upgrade to an EQ8 – though I kind of hanker after a MyT as I have found MEIIs a joy to use, but too damn expensive.
I like the RASA that I occasionally use – a lot. Its given some great wide FOV images, but I’m not really planning to spend all my time going after large sprawling nebulae and find I tend to image smaller objects and so end up cropping the frames hugely. Obviously, a 14″ RASA would be better with more light and a smaller FOV) but they are $12k so thats not happening and it might not even fit anyway
The balance point on open truss systems seems further away from the tube midpoint to me (I could be wrong) and with a 2.1m dome I’ve got to be really careful hence ignoring them at present.
I had the opportunity to use Meade, Celestron and Skywatcher 12″ Dobos next to each other about 10 years ago. None of them gave a less than nice image though, one did excel – I need to go back and find my notes to remember which it was.
A lot of you will of course have bought new telescopes frequently, but for me this is a new experience. I bought an 8″ f8 Fullerscopes second hand in 1985 and a used 10″ AE f4.3 Newt in 2002 and thats my lot, so you can see, the instruments I have used most over the years have been old-school. I did have more ambitious plans but, as always seems to happen, events occurred (chimney in need of a complete rebuild and new car needed) which suck up the spare funds. Probably just as well as a 3m automated dome, Paramount MEII, RASA 14″ and QHY600 would dent the bank account somewhat and cause plaintive wailing from my bank manager.