I bought this telescope last Christmas for my family. I have one daughter, age 7. I did a lot of research around the Internet and this product appeared to be a good starter telescope at the right price. (Incidentally, I paid $69.99 on amazon just before Christmas last year, so clearly prices on electronics change as much as airfares!) We are VERY satisfied. It's perfect for families just beginning to explore the stars/planets/moon with their young ones. It also was easy to assemble. Those who've criticized the parts for being less than perfect are probably right -- but then again, they probably want to be buying a telescope in the $100-$200 range or higher. The parts are fine. Sturdy enough for family use. The tripod works well. We live in Northwest Ohio where our clearest nights tend to be early fall and during extremely cold January/February. So, indeed, our biggest challenge has been recognizing a clear night when we have one. If you're doing this for the first time, work toward finding the moon first. Once I was able to master getting the moon into view, I was able to work on trying to see a planet. Tonight we saw Jupiter and four of its moons! We even saw a ring around Jupiter. Seeing the stars is harder with this unit, though. But we are thrilled enough to see parts of our own solar system. The CD with the product is pretty good, too and can help you plan what part of the sky to look at, when the full moons are, etc. Very happy to recommend this product and thanks to those who wrote about it previously.