I thought I'd add this section to highlight a few instruments that are mainly of interest to me, but also have a loyal following worldwide. Consequently, the 'scopes appearing in the sub-menus off this section will have a strong personal bias.
What makes a classic 'scope?
To my way of thinking, a classic instrument carries a timeless design that embodies fine engineering, good looks and practicality. (Think Questar. Read this quote from Company Seven's Director, Martin Cohen.) It also has to work reliably and be supported by its manufacturer — even if it's no longer a production model.
What's my all-time favourite 'scope?
Anyone that knows me will testify that I'm not only a huge fan of Celestron equipment, but I think the company is pretty ethical too. Celestron made a hugely successful commercial product out of the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The 'C8' will forever be associated with the company, particularly the early orange-tubed models which are regarded almost with reverence by the cognoscenti.
I can well recall my own observing experiences with such a C8 from twenty years ago. Its optical quality was simply superb, delivering breathtaking views of the Moon on one night of exceptional seeing the like of which I've never encountered since. So, for me, the Celestron orange tube C8 gets my vote as favourite.
As a rather amusing aside, Celestron have produced some memorable magazine adverts over the years. How many of you remember this one of Leonard Nimoy (a.k.a. Spock from Star Trek) promoting an orange C8? Or maybe you remember the glamorous Celestron Girls?
Ah, they don't make adverts like that anymore!