I'm with Michael on getting a pair of good lightweight binoculars first.
Don't get the ones that look like "H"'s (roof prism inside) unless you get the very expensive ones. The more traditional looking ones that have a "porro prism" inside are better for astro as long as you don't go for the cheap stuff.
Steve gave good advice on many things.
My best recommendation for you also is to find a local astro club and go to their "star parties", that way you get to find what you like. To bad it's almost Oct. The Texas Star Party is one of the bigger ones (from what I've been told, never been there), but it's around May.
I don't know where you live, but in Houston there is "Land Sea & Sky"
Binoculars Telescopes Microscopes Spotting Scopes Marine & Nautical | Land Sea & Sky | Houston Texas | Land Sea & Sky
I've never done any business with them directly, but they are one of the major players for Takahashi scopes and mounts.
My opinions for what they are worth:
- Small refractors are very tough and will take some abuse. Stay away from anything with a f ratio above f/8 (tube gets longer and field of view gets narrower (which makes it harder to find your targets).
- Reflectors (like Newtonians & Dobsonians typically offer the most bang for the buck. You will have to learn how to collmate (align optics).
- Schmidt-Cassegrains (SCT's) are generally thought of as jack-of-all trades master at none scopes. They sometimes will need to the collimated. I do have a 8" Celestron SCT that I've owned since the 1980's that I've never needed to, unlike my 11" and 14" Celestrons. Even though they are native f/10, (the 14" is f/11) a reducer/corrector will bring it down to f/6.3. But the one thing that nobody will tell you that a SCT or Mak version will need a dew shield to keep the corrector lens on front from dewing up in high humidity areas. The dew shield will make the scope more susceptible to wind.
- Mount, whatever type you decide is right for you, don't get a cheapy with weak tripod legs. Vibrations that take forever to dampen out have killed a lot of peoples interest in the hobby because its difficult to see the object that you're looking for.
Remember, the above is just my opinions and may not apply to you.
Some of my gear:
Celestron 14" Edge SCT.
Celestron 11" SCT (formally a N11GPS that I removed the fork mount from).
Celestron 8" SCT (my oldest scope, also removed the fork mount from it).
APM/TMB 152mm refractor.
Takahashi FSQ-106N astrograph refractor.
Lunt LS100mmTha double stacked hydrogen-alpha solar
Celestron 4" MCT (formally a N4 something or other that I deforked also).
Coronado PST, a 40mm hydrogen-alpha solar
Software Bisque Paramount MX+ German Equatorial mount (100lb photographic payload.
Takahashi NJP German Equatorial mount. (No longer in production.)
Good luck to you,