Mark Holden's posting was a tad pessimistic, in my view. $10,000 will buy
you a TEC 140 APO (that's a very-high-end 5.5" apochromatic refractor), an
excellent Losmandy G-11 mount for it, a high-end diagonal, and several
That is exactly the set-up I would buy right now -- if I could afford it.
I have observed with a TEC 140 APO, and it provided the best images that a
telescope can provide -- for its aperture. And 5.5" of apo aperture would
keep me happy for a lifetime. Look through a TEC 140 APO sometime under a
dark sky, and you will (probably) understand what I mean.
When I was buying my last scope, I chose a TMB 115 CNC largely because I
wanted the largest top quality apo I could shoehorn into carry on
luggage for when I fly to Florida. It was a convenient example,
because I've done it this year.
Otherwise, I guess it depends what you consider a complete setup.
I included fudge factor for incidentals.
A battery pack or a power supply for the mount. (Maybe both)
A polar alignment scope is a handy thing to have.
So is an observing chair or stool.
A white light solar filter is nice.
Star charts and a red LED flashlight are important.
A ddcap is a good idea to protect your optics.
You'll want a case for the scope and maybe one for the mount and the
I added a second focuser (feathertouch) to get additional in and out
focus, and I went for a 1/26 wave quartz diagonal.
$20 here, $450 there, it all starts to add up.