I totally agree: you get what you pay for which is why, for my dream system, I've gone to totally the other end of the market with an ASA DDM60 Pro (website
). I'm still doing indoor testing and gaining familiarity with the controlling software but there's something quite spooky about seeing the mounting's encoders reporting sidereal tracking of way less than 1/10th of an arc second after a slew command from TheSkyX to move across about 90Â° of sky, a slew which takes less than 10 seconds and is virtually silent.
But, flimsy though the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ-MD may be, it's a lot cheaper than the GPS unit and I think there's an excellent chance that, with the telescope removed and a DSLR in its place, the results would be at least as good as with that Pentax setup which can't compensate for field rotation and is also limited on exposure lengths. But hey, it's no big deal.