Learning curves and 1500-2000 dollar ranges aren't issues with me, I am very earnest about this.
I don't want to lug around any large heavy man-sized ones as I do live in a moderately light polluted area, but it isn't too far a drive to the country... and with that said I don't want to spend hours upon hours setting it up.
Now when it comes to finding stuff... my original intention was just to look at pretty bright objects yes, but after skewering wikipedia on the subject of astronomy (and the fact that I'm taking it as an elective in highschool this fall) yes, I think I would like to get to know the night sky "intimately" and put effort into finding objects.
And as for taking pictures... I'm quite sure yet... but let's just assume yes for right now.
Thanks agian for being so nice and helpful about this!