Like most there is a list.....but at the top of that list is one spectacular view that I will carry with me the rest of my life. It was the catalyst that led me down the astronomer's road by the nose.
I went to a public outreach night at Prarie Grass Observatory dark site just outside Lafayette Indiana. They had a 28" Dob, a 16" SCT and a pair of 100mm Oberwerk 40x binos on a parallelagram mount.
I was of course impressed with both the Dob and the SCT and was appropriately wowed....BUT when I looked through the binos I was hooked....The immersive feeling, the expansive view, it was a pivotal moment for me. Today, with 10's of thousands of $$ invested in this hobby I can still say without a shadow of doubt, not before or since that evening has anything had a more profound impact on me.
Within a couple days I had found and purchased my 1st real telescope an 8" cardboard tube Dob and within a couple months had a pair of APM 100mm binos AND an identical mount to the one I used that night....Its been 8 years now and I can still close my eyes and feel it....I will never forget it.
20" MidnighTelescopes f/5
8" f/16 Muffoletto Achro
Meade 6" AR6 f/8.0 Achro
Parallax PI250 10" F/5 Newt
80mm Stellarvue Nighthawk with WO APOupgrade lens, 90mm f/16.67 Parallax Achro
LXD75/LX200, Mini-tower, GP-DX, CG5 ASGT, LXD650, GM-8, G11, GM-100, GM-150EX, GM-200 and a Gemini G40
4" portable AP convertable 44" or 70" pier
Stellarvue M7 Alt-Az, TSL7 Pier/Tripod
12.5" f/5 MidnighTelescopes DOB Swayze optics