SW Washinton Stargazers meeting tonight. One of the members brought his new 18" ultra compact Obsession [Truss-Dobsonian] telescope to the meeting, and set it up. Very nice.....very smooth operation on both axis......appeared nicely made [although at a very steep price]. When it comes down to it, I think you are paying for the compact, collapseable design [the materials didn't look that remarkable] and the quality of the mirror [I assume it is of very high quality......it was too cloudy to do any observing]. The scope comes apart, and is stored in a padded case about 3 1/2' x 3' x 2'. Heavy! It took a while to get it put togther and collimated. If I owned it, I would probably leave it fully assembled, and move it with a wheeled cart of some kind. The "portability" will allow it to be taken to star parties.....although once in the case, you would need a station wagon, SUV or pick up truck to transport it. It would not fit in the trunk of an average car [in the case]. In no way is it a grab and go.
The rest of the meeting was pretty much chit chat. Another member showed off his new TeleVue 13mm 100 degree eyepiece. I am looking forward to looking through it.