I happen to have a NP-101 at home now, a friend left it here so I could dewobble (the word exists now that I made it up) its Polaris-clones mount and tripod. I also checked the focuser for play, its former owner put shims in the wrong place, slightly seperating the rack from the pinion. The teflon sleeve between the focuser housing and drawtube needed some rectification too, it was worn out a bit, I simply made it thicker with a couple strips of tape. I might add some tape depending on how much friction he wants, that's a matter of taste.
But since we're talking astro buying power and value, and the NP-101 pops up, here's a little calculation I made: it costs 4,100€ new for the optical tube only. The main components are the four lenses, the cell, the tube, and the focuser, that's close to 600€ each.
But for a little over 600€ you get a complete Sky-Watcher 100mm apo with dual-speed focuser, which the NP-101 does not have; you must spend a couple hundred more for that, and choose the NP-101is instead. Plus, the "basic" version vignettes badly, my friend also brought it so I would craft aperture stops of 85mm and 70mm, to see how vignetting and resolution would change. Again, you have to take the more expensive NP-101is to avoid this.
By the way, I checked the optics on daytime views, and with an artificial and natural stars, they're excellent; the diffraction figures are colorless and smooth, but not quite as symmetrical as in my triplet, that's the accepted difference between an astrograph and a visual scope. However my 80mm triplet with dual-speed costed 646€, and is sharper than the TeleVue stopped-down to 85mm.
At full aperture the NP-101 struggles to outresolve the 80, which seems to cut through turbulence, and provides a steadier view. And while my friend expected an f/5.4 101mm scope to be around 540mm long, it's 760mm long, retracted dewshield to retracted focuser.
Plus, it causes weird artefacts around bright stars, the halo has two strange dark indentations, maybe because of the two slots in the shiny ring that keeps the outer lens in place. I cut a permanent stop out of matte mousepad black rubber, it reduces the useful diameter by a half-millimeter at most, and is simply stuck in the threads outside the ring. Couldn't experiment with it as yet, though.
My apo does not cause any photo artefacts, and most others don't either. More, the flocking inside the TV unglues itself at places, but the tube is sealed. More than more, while the felt-lined dewshield keeps dew away from the lens very well, it wobbles badly when extended, and that feels cheap.
The homemade dewshield I made for the 60mm achro I gave away has no play at all when extended; that's very easy to design, and what little play my apo's dewshield had, I removed with adhesive rubber pads instead of the original crude velours strips. The TeleVue's dewshield can't be modded however, its design precludes this.
You get what you pay for?