I just joined and the prime motivation was that I recently purchased an LS-8. But I've had an ETX-60, ETX-80, and an ETX-125 in the past and still have a 10" LX200 GPS so I'm not really new to the Meade world. Technically I still have an ETX-80 but I bought it for parts ($25 at a garage sale) for the other and I don't normally count it - but I may someday get a tripod for it and rehab the thing.
It is/was my understanding that the LS-8 systems tend to develop problems with their firmware/software but I had no luck at all figuring out how to download that firmware from Meade so that I can re-load if/when it is needed.
Fortunately fjhdavid had thoughtfully given a link for the software. I'm going to study a bit more before dumping the file into the mini-SD card(s). I think I can just put in the unpacked folder after making sure I've got the card formatted as FAT32 - but I'll be double-checking that.
I've had the beastie out only twice so far. I'm generally quite pleased by the optics (very nicely corrected) but the stars have a bit of a bluish tint and galaxies seem a bit dimmer than I expected. But both nights were not wonderful so that may have had more to do with environmental conditions and eyepiece choice. I'm pretty sure the OTA's blue paint is not responsible for the bluish tint. . . And yes, I've used a lot of scopes so it is not just a matter of inappropriate expectations.
The tech is really pretty nice except for its annoying insistence on talking. My wife likes that, though, so I've not yet tried to disable that aspect.
Two primary things I want/wanted from the LS-8:
One is that I can quickly haul it outside, power it, and it will generally find itself while it is doing the cool-down. That means I get to use a scope other than a small refractor on nights when I have little time.
The other is for public outreach. In dark skies when someone bumps it I can have it re-align itself while I'm talking to people - and they should really like and be impressed by a scope which will take care of much of the work. One public outreach venue has horrible light pollution and I'm hoping (but not confident) that it will be able to align itself there.
One of the nights I had it out was pretty chilly. When I was putting the system away the cover for the corrector would not stay on at all. I didn't think the plastic would shrink that much. I'm going to leave on some errands very shortly and one of my stops will be to see if the local Hobby Lobby has an appropriate felt to make the fit a little tighter.
Seems like a pretty good system but like everything - not perfect. So far I'm pretty happy but I'm early on using this beastie.