Well, I have a Zhumell Z8 Dobsonian. 8 inch reflector. It's kind of heavy, but is easy enough to transport. It didn't cost me much, under 400 I think. I am a big fan of it. I personally wouldn't ever choose portability over viewing quality, as long as I can move the thing. I'd always feel like I could do better for my money if I bought portable over image quality. I took the thing to northern Arizona. It was actually up by snow bowl, a ski hill near Flagstaff. Since northern AZ boasts some of the darkest skies you can get, coupled with the altitude giving you excellent clarity and less obstruction from surroundings, I had the best night viewing that I've ever had. I was using my cumbersome Zhumell, yet I still take it out in the back yard when I go back home, and I still managed to put it in the back of my car and take it up the mountain. So, my take on portability is get something that you can still move and set up without it being a major ordeal. For newbies, I never really had a chance to go to a star party, so if you don't get that opportunity (though I would still highly recommend it since you can usually test out a wide range of equipment), I'd go for a Dobsonian mounted telescope, since you can usually take it in two pieces.