|Yours truly at Kitt Peak in 2002 (I think).|
Many of these people are then quite disappointed to find out that I cannot help them much. Sure, I give them the standard (and excellent, IMHO) advice that they should avoid $49 specials at Walmart, start with binoculars and then, if still interested, progress to something like an Astroscan. (Full disclosure - I own an Astroscan and love it, but I don't get any compensation whatsoever to talk them up).
But if you ask me which is better: a Celestron NexStar or an Orion StarMax, and I will give you a blank star. I have no clue. Or if you ask me why your iOptron SmartStar Maksutov has this weird coma when you put a certain filter in but not with a different filter by the same manufacturer, and I'll only be able to blurt out the obvious "maybe there is something wrong with the filter?"