Well, I hope I don't disappoint anyone, but I ended up finding a Celestron DX130 Starsense Explorer basically new in the box on my local craigslist and bought that. I ended up spending about half what I would have on the AD8, and I don't have to wait on a backorder. I know the AD8 would have given me more impressive views, but it honestly was more than I really wanted to spend right now. I have a tendency to hop from hobby to hobby and back, so if I let the DX130 sit for a while, I won't feel as bad about it. Also, the better portability means I'm more likely to bring it with me when I travel and use it more in general. Like they say, the best telescope for me is the one I'll use the most. Plus, I can always upgrade or add another scope later. (Insert evil laugh here)
I got a few hours of acceptable skies last night. So I set up the scope in my back yard before dinner to let it acclimate while I ate. Some clouds to the south made lower objects tough to see or even find, but I did manage to bag a couple that were higher up. I used the Starsense app and it got me in the general area. I think the inaccuracy was down to me aligning it on an object that was way too close. Next time, I'll use something much farther and see how it does.
I started with Mars. Not great views, but it let me dial the red dot finder in and test my eye pieces. It was basically just a really bright dot, but from what I've read viewing isn't great right now anyway. Then I found Uranus, or at least, I think I did. It was a blue dot in the spot where Uranus was supposed to be anyway. LOL! Next up was the 7 Sisters. This was my first "Wow" moment. To the naked eye it was barely visible, just a smudge with a few tiny light points, but in the scope the cluster was sharp and bright. I also found another cluster but I'm flaking on the name right now. I think it was in Hercules. Anyway, another impressive, dense cluster of sharp stars. By this point, I was getting pretty cold, so I wrapped it up by finding the Orion nebula. Light pollution and a bit of haze hurt the contrast, but I did see the stars and lighter blue cloud around them. All in all, not a bad "first time". I'm looking forward to taking it somewhere with darker, clearer skies. And for the Moon to be up high where I can check her out.