Posted By Barry Fernelius
Honestly, I don't think that you'll find something for <$1000 that will be adequate for astrophotography, no matter what anyone says. Heck, you'd have to spend more than that to obtain an adequate mount for doing astrophotography.
At the beginning of your post, you started to say:
After doing much reading, I have decided that for my purposes...
It may be obvious to you what your purposes are, but it's not obvious to me. That's why I can't give you any reasonable answers to your questions. By the way, any one of the other questions that you asked could easily lead to a flame war of Biblical proportions.
Instead of fanning the flames, let me make a gentle suggestion: seek out other amateur astronomers in your area who have interests that are similar to yours. It's been my experience that astronomers are an incredible decent bunch of folks, and they'll be happy to give you some practical pros and cons related to equipment.
If I were you, I'd forget about astrophotography for the present moment, settle on a decent instrument, and observe every night that you can for the next five years. By the time that you've gained the necessary experience, you'll take all of the 'advice' that's available on Astromart with a grain of salt, and you'll be able to come up with your own answers.
Sorry if this isn't what you expected.