I love astronomy and have to say this was my first real purchase of a telescope. I placed my order and in 2 days my product was at the door. I was shocked how fast it came. I was very excited about viewing the planets and hopefully some deep sky objects. Novice would be the best way to describe my viewing experience. However, I was able to get the scope setup and struggled with the star alignment. Then I used the CD that came with the product and got to know the night sky. Yes I know, read the material first then play but I was like a kid in a candy store and just couldn't wait to start viewing.
I did get the sky align to work and then tested the alignment by having it go to the easiest target in the sky. (The moon). Boom it was center view. In a full moon phase right now so the obvious light polution is tremendous but I was able to view Jupiter and see 3 moons (due to the light conditions it wasn't to detailed). Everything else was bleed out by the moon.
I read the reviews before I purchased and did alot of research on scopes and have to say this one hit the nail on the head. It does take 8 AA batteries to operate and I read someone elses review that the batteries do not last long, so I purchased the power pack along with it.
The power pack was a good idea however, take heed that it plugs into where the scope rotates and if you are not careful you can find that your power cable is getting wrapped around the scope as it rotates.
GPS - I was considering purchasing the GPS but decided that google earth will provide me the Long and Lat just as easy.
Leveling - the little bubble level they give you works fine but make sure you keep track of that little bugger cause it's very easy to loose. They give you some double sided tape which proves to by useless because it throws off the bubble. Don't bother with the tape and just place it on the mount to level it.
Accessory pack - I did purchase the Celestron 94304 Nine-Piece Accessory Kit
and feel that was a wise purchase. You get the barlow scope, some filters and my son loves the "shakey flashlight" (what he calls it).
Motors - Yes the motors are just a tad noisy but not that bad. It lets you know that it's working :). It tracks very well.
Mounting your scope: Do not make the same mistake I made and just slide it into it's mount and not pay attention to the vertical alignment. Make sure you mount it far enough in so that your scope can go vertical without it hitting the angle lens and preventing it from hitting it's target.
Finder Scope: Very nice- and once aligned works great. I love the red dot LED. It's nice to be able to adjust it's brightness so that it doesn't bleed out what you are trying to target.
Over all. If you are just starting out in astronomy and love to view the night sky. If you ever sat outside at night and wished you owned a telescope because it was a great night to view some planets and deep sky objects. If you were afraid of a telescope because your night sky knowledge was limited. This is the scope for you. I can't say enough good things about it. Not only does it find the stars and planets for me it is also teaching me as it goes.