The 7" Mak LX-200 will take about 30-45 minutes to cool down in the winter if you use the fan. One approach I took was to put the scope outside before dinner so it would have a chance to adjust. I would take the mount \ OTA unit outside without the tripod and let it sit without the fan running. After dinner I would put it on the tripod and get everything setup. With this approach, I would sometimes still need to run the fan for 10 minutes to finish the cool down. Once the OTA was settled down, I would have no trouble for the rest of the evening. I live in Wisconsin.
Note: I have learned a flexible dew shield is important in the summer and the winter with the Maksutovs.
Another option to consider is to purchase only the OTA. Meade sells the OTA with UHTC coatings. When you purchase the scope in this configuration, Meade does not install the rear counterweight needed for balance in the fork mounts. I am guessing the lack of the OTA weight will help speed the cool down, but I do not know for sure. My scopes were all fork mounted. Add a dovetail, mount, and dark sky.
I had several of these scopes and I think they are very good value for the money. I found the images to be nice and sharp along with displaying high contrast. Last year I had some wonderful views of Saturn with my (now sold) LX-200 7" Maksutov.
I found my 7" Meade Maks gave images that were much brighter and had significantly more detail then my 4" APO. Compared against a C-11 (no averted vision), and the 7" using averted vision, I came close to matching brightness, but not (as you would expect), the C-11's resolution. The Mak displayed higher contrast then the C-11.
In addition to the Meade Maksutov, if you have not checked into it, ITE, an AM sponsor, sells a Russian made 7" F15 Mak. The deluxe version of this OTA includes a fan to help with cooling. I have had mine since last fall and I really, really like it. The color, sharpness, and contrast are all terrific. The CO is small, there is no focus shift, and the OTA is easy to handle. It is however, more money then the Meade OTA.