See ya, C8...
So the Nexstar is history, an Orion Sirius EQ-G mount is on order at High Point Scientific, and an Antares 127mm (5") f/9.6 achromatic refractor will be on it's way next week.
Just when I was set to keep the C8, I got an email response to my Astromart ad which I forgot to delete. Much haggling ensued, and I finally accepted $1,200 for it with the JMI focuser, Astrozap dew shield, and Losmandy counterweight. I kept the Thousand Oaks solar filter ('cause I will own another C8 someday...) and Celestron 40mm Plossl eyepiece.
I was minutes away from heading over to High Point to buy a C6R-GT when one of the voices in my head told me to check Astromart, where I found the Antares 127mm OTA for $300. I've only heard great things about these scopes, and while I would have prefered the 152mm (8") model I couldn't resist this scope at this price. Contacted the owner, sealed the deal, and then headed to HPS to buy a mount.
The CG-5A, upon first sight, was immediately ruled out. It would be perfect for the TV85, but I wouldn't put any SCT larger than the C6 on it. So I opted for the Sirius EQ-G after talking it over with Grant at HPS. They didn't have it in stock, but I pre-paid for it (to beat the sales tax hike deadline, as NJ seems intent on becoming the first government in history to tax itself into prosperity). Should be able to pick it up late next week.
While at HPS I had a long look at the Orion long-tube 120mm, which sells new for $300. Nice looking scope but I decided the Antares is the way to go. Also tested some of the Burgess/TMB planetary eyepieces on a little AT66ED (which is one cool little scope!). I was pleased to see that they have a large eye lens, I wasn't sure because you can't tell from any of the photos I've seen. I tried the 4, 5 & 7 mm pieces and liked 'em a lot. There's a special now - buy two, get one free - which is not too bad of a deal. Might even be worth getting 3 pairs for $400.00 and a binoviewer for $139.00. What to sell, what to sell???
So now we wait...