I'm a freshmen in college (currently undecided on my major) and am seriously considering an undergrad in physics with the intention of going to graduate school for astronomy. But before I get serious about it, and with Christmas on the way, I want to get a decent telescope. I'd say my possible price range is $250-$500. I've done a little research, and Dobsonians seem to be a good bang for the buck, albeit cumbersome. I could use a little help on what brand/type to get as well as some specifications that I should look for such as magnification and size (it's still rather confusing to me). So.. any thoughts?