I got this telescope for my daughter and I promised her we'd be able to see the craters on the moon. Unfortunately for me, I did opposite what the manual suggests and I tried to use it for the first time at night...and I knew not much at all about the stars. Needless to say, the first night was not good.
The next day, I aligned the red dot and played with the eyepieces until I figured out how to actually focus the scope. I agree with another reviewer - the 9mm is difficult to use, but the 25mm eyepiece is great.
My second night out, we saw the craters on the moon with the 25mm eyepiece. Focusing and red dot were easy to use since we figured it out during the day.
On the third night, we found Arcturus and Altira and got the GoTo AutoStar working great. We knew it was working when it centered on the brightly lit Jupiter. By the end of the week, we felt like pros and have found many more stars in the sky.
I bought a Zhumel erecting eyepiece ($20) for day use (so things aren't inverted) and bought a Celestron 12.4mm eyepiece ($60). The Celestron is definitely a nicer eyepiece than the ones that come with it, but I see now why people told me it would over-drive the scope. The scope is great, but can't support the more expensive eyepieces as well as a more expensive scope probably could.
Personally, I love this scope and think it's great. My daughter and I are beginners, and this has been a really great project for us. We read astronomy books together and am having a...