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I ended up with a Discovery Telescopes 12.5" Dob after reading several reviews on the web that the Celestron 9" Dob was noticeably better quality than the other sizes in their line. Several of the posts revealed that Discovery Telescopes made the 9" for Celestron but the rest were mass produced. I got mine delivered for $1500 a couple of years ago. I like the Dobs because they are very easy to use and are good at the deep sky stuff. Not to be overlooked is that when you buy a Dob vs. a refractor or Schmidt or whatever, a higher fraction of your money is spent on the optics--those latter scopes require crazy expensive mounts. I think the mirror, bought separately, for my scope was $950 leaving $350 for the stand, eyepieces, spider/secondary, focuser etc., and a couple hundred for shipping. But you wont be doing photography with a Dob.
And as others have said, binoculars and some good software are essential. I will add the book "Binocular Astronomy" as a must have. Good maps and a great season-by-season guide--the vast majority of the good binocular targets are good telescope targets too.