Dave: I saw this new Cometron line first-hand at the product launch in June. There are a couple of different levels of quality in the line.
If you consider the typical "department store" scope as a bottom level, then both the Cometron levels are above this. Celestron (like Tasco and Meade) make most of their money from the lower-quality, "budget" line of scopes and binos typically found at places like Wal-Mart. Any time there is, or is predicted to be, a naked-eye comet coming around these companies gear up production well in advance to take advantage of the hype.
In my opinion, if they sell enough budget equipment to get even very few new people into the hobby, it's a good thing.
Celestron (I can't speak about the other companies) has done a couple of good things here (besides ramp up production to ensure ready availability). Their Cometron binos are reasonably well made, especially for the price. I purchased 10 sets of the new 7x50s for use with our Couch Potato Telescopes (Sim Picheloup's "bino chairs") after using one at the product rollout. These are going to be available some places around $20. They are lightweight, but strong-ish, have very clear coatings, and include a separately-focusable eyepiece as well as center-post focusing. The center post is threaded for a tripod adapter. They are "reasonably" free of CA as judged by daytime use and nighttime lunar viewing. There are larger sets in the lineup and they appear to be a bit higher quality, as well.
The Cometron telescope is quite compact, with decent optics, and reasonably wide-field. There is, of course, the "too-lightweight" feel of construction, but given the intent and the price it's not a bad deal. It should provide superb views of comets
I've used the word "reasonably" here several times, on purpose. Celestron calls its "Wal-Mart" product catalog its "value" line. The Cometron line is one or two levels of quality up the chain from that, and provides imho a much better value to the consumer. A bit pricier, but not inordinately so. And well below their products like the NexStar 5 et al.
If Meade were in better financial shape, no doubt they would follow suit. Telescope companies do much better when bright comets are around ... and these days they need all that kind of help they can get.
Who knows what comets, in general, are going to do? This one, in particular, is a member of a group that's famously unpredictable. Let's hope it really pops! If it does, I think everybody wins ...