This is an excellent little scope. I own several larger reflector and catadioptric scopes, but they're a pain to take outside sometimes, especially in the cold. This one is dead simple to use, and although the mount is pretty shaky the price and low weight make up for the drawbacks. I bought this to share with my 7 year old daughter, and she loves it. Beginners care most about things they've seen without a scope or binoculars, and she's no different - Jupiter is awesome, the moon is great, and several deep sky objects (NGC 865, for example) are plain as anything. Not a lot of false color, which is the benefit of having a high F-ratio in a refractor scope. The finder isn't much use, but it will work for the big stuff. For a budding astronomer a good pair of 10x70 binoculars is always best, but this is the next best thing, and a good first step into scopes. The 9V drive is a good thing to have for later, but you won't want to use it at first. For this price this is the best telescope value I've seen. This thing weighs about 20 pounds, and it will take up some space once assembled (please remember to cover it from dust when you're not using it). But this is perfect for taking it outside on a winter's night and looking at the sights.
Pros: simple, big diameter, great price, sturdy scope
Cons: cheap mount, tripod, finder
This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.