When I walked into my favourite telescope shop (Focus Scientific in Ottawa) I had already decided that I wanted to embark on astronomy as a serious hobby. I knew I needed at least a telescope to do that, but really, I did not have much of a plan beyond that. Fortunately, Tristan was behind the counter and spent a lot of time helping me sort things out. This was most helpful.
He asked me a number of questions about what I wanted to do – planetary observation and/or photography or deep space observation and/or photography. It turns out that the equipment and approaches are quite different. Tristan explains this to me and I decided that I was more interested in deep space photography (astrophotography) than planetary imaging.