brobak writes "I'm getting ready to move into a new home on a couple of acres of rural property a significant distance from any large source of light pollution. I've always been interested in astronomy in general, and I would like to put my dark skies to use by picking up decent telescope and learning a bit about the skies over my head. The overall budget for this project is going to be around $1,000. I am particularly interested in astrophotography, but I understand that that may carry me outside the scope of the initial budget. I've already signed up for my local astronomy club's next monthly meeting. I have been doing Web research, but I thought that the Slashdot community would be the perfect place to get opinions on entry-level equipment, websites, and books."