Well, I think things are finally getting settled down a bit... only took a few months.
My Astronomy setup has morphed quite a bit in the last few months, I've bought and sold about 7 scopes in 3 months in order to try out different options. I think I have finally found the setup I will stick with.
Currently I have Two main scopes which serve two roles. First, for deepsky - an 8" Newtonian Astrograph at F3.9 - this should eliminate some of my issues with star trailing and exposure times. Second, for planetary - a Meade 7" Maksutov at F15. This scope is more than 3X slower than the Astrograph, but that will be fine for planetary work, and Mak's as renowned for their excellent planetary images.
Lastly, I have a Meade / Terabeam 5" Maksutov as my travel scope. This one runs at F12, but has upgrades to allow it to use 2" accessories. Jim Wegat designed a custom back plate to replace the standard plastic affair that is found on the ETX series scope. This scope is actually not a Meade production model at all, but a special version with no optical coatings that was to be use for telecommunications.
The only weak areas I can see at the moment are 1) My lack of a guide scope setup and 2) My Mount carrying capacity I am looking for a cheap Meade Imager that I can use to rig up a guide scope.. but for the mount - that will take some time. I want to get a CGEM, but they are about $1400... and selling my CG5 will only bring about 1/3 of that. So, I will do what I can with what I have for the time being.
Look for lots of imaging posts through the winter months. My planned targets: M31 before it gets out of range, M42 of course, M45, Jupiter and Saturn. There will be others thrown in, but those are the main goals for this winter.