This is the first telescope that I have purchased, so my husband and I are just getting into astronomy. We found it extremely easy to find the things that we are looking for. We are amazed at the detail that we can see with this telescope. It's pretty easy to take in the care places too. The only issue we had is the handle on the base wasn't the right shape, so it won't fit on the base. Everything else has been wonderful.
I've had this--oh, probably about a year now. The scope is basically the same as the classic. The tool-free collimator knobs are fantabulous. I love the white bumper strip at the bottom--finally can pick mine out of a line-up of classics even in the dark. Dual speed focuser is nice. The 28mm Deep View eyepiece is a good addition. Generally, this is a good buy--nice overall, easy to use scope. Why the low rating? I choose to use an 8" because I don't want to lift heavier scopes, yet I have a Telrad, finderscope, laser pointer, and the heavier Explore Scientific eyepieces attached, and the altitude tension knobs are not up to the task. I just found 106 Messier objects in a marathon where I spent a good portion of the night holding my scope up with my knee. If I tighten it enough to keep it in place, I cannot move the scope. I've tried weights--I keep having to add and subtract according to how low on the horizon I am viewing. Truly frustrating. Soooooo....if you are not planning to put multiples or heavy equipment on the end of this scope, it is a keeper and I'd surely give it a 5. Otherwise...I'd suggest you keep looking.