Level 1 Beginner - Suited for a wide range of uses, these telescopes are simple to operate and set up. Some initial assembly may be required. Very good optical and mechanical quality. Great for families, young people, and folks who don't want to mess with equipment but just want to take a look. Any of these scopes will show you countless lunar craters, Saturn's rings and a myriad of star clusters and nebulas! Referring to the manual is recommended.
Level 2 Intermediate - These scopes offer higher performance and more advanced features than Level 1: Beginner models. They typically take a bit longer to learn and need some set-up or adjustments. But anyone with the slightest technical bent will have no problem getting familiar with these models. Referring to the manual is recommended.
Level 3 Advanced - These scopes provide the best performance but may require more skill to master and appreciate. They have exceptionally fine optics and mechanics. Some are easy to use but are on the large or heavy side. Some are intended for specialized uses. These scopes will appeal to the more technically inclined. Referring to the manual is highly recommended.
Level 4 Expert - Expert telescopes offer uncompromising optical and mechanical quality for the most demanding amateur astronomer. They may be technically involved or designed for specialized use, such as astrophotography or detailed deep sky observation. They carry a premium price, but are designed to provide the ultimate performance in the field. Referring to the manual is highly recommended.