Thank you for even more worthwhile comments and input David. Good point re an altazimuth mounts, and being a bit old school, it is something I haven’t really thought of or considered. Having said that, I am so used to using German equatorial’s that I think I’ll be all at sea with them. Besides, I love the simplicity of an equatorial mount. I will give it thought though. Good point about the central obstruction issue, and maybe many do make too much of it. However, when one purchases or constructs most things in life, it generally involves some form of compromise, and I see an over large obstruction as just that, especially when it’s diffraction limited objects that one is observing. My eyesight isn’t the best and I always feel I need all the help I can get! Although I’m old to this game, these days I don’t get much chance to look and test the latest equipment, so I do realise I might be a little out of touch with things. I just seem to have memories of everybody purchasing Meade SCT’s and suffering huge dewing problems, as well as large amounts of image shift due to poor construction of the focusing primary. If I can’t go as far as a Mewlon, then a Vixen might be a good alternative. I’m not being a snob, but I don’t have too much faith in stuff from China, though I know it’s usually where the sourced labour is cheapest and exchange rates and so on and so on. Before I part with large sums of money, it would be a good idea to star test a few ‘copes. Getting the opportunity to do this could be problematic though.
I will check out UK Astronomy Buy & Sell, always preferable to anything like Ebay or Gumtree!