In 1978, Sky & Telescope ran an ad for Star Instruments that offered for sale a 4.5" f10 Ritchey - Chretien mirror set for $79.95. Looking back at the catalog and the prices you tend to wish you had gone for the gold a 12.5 for $499.95 but as I have mentioned in past posts, how much would that be in 2008 dollars? It's a matter of looking back at the reality of that time. I ordered the 4.5 and put together a nice portable scope which is still in use today.
As I have aged and others have in my generation, we tend to think portable. I don't lug a big scope out much anymore. I enjoy A 5" maksutov on one side of a William's Alt Azimuth and the 4.5" RC on the other. Observing at the eyepiece from a lawn chair is a luxury.
I have scanned the 1978 Catalog for those who would like to see it. As an aside, this is the first and only time I can remember ever seeing a girl in a bikini using a rich field reflector but then I've never lived in California.
Clear Sky - Rich