I haven't followed the amateur market in some years, so I really have no idea what's out there right now. I recommend that beginning astronomers buy a good pair of 10x50 binoculars instead. You may find that you either take to astronomy quite rapidly, and there are at least a hundred faint fuzzies you can find with binoculars -- while you learn the sky -- or you don't. If you don't, you still have something useful for birdwatching and other terrestrial fun.
Buy a subscription to Sky & Telescope magazine. While you learn your way around the sky with binoculars, you'll also be able to learn WHY you are learning the sky, and the nature of the things you are looking at. And you'll also learn about the current telescope market. If you graduate to wanting/needing a telescope, you'll be ready.
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