This is a very interesting question and topic, I'm surprised it didn't get noticed out here more. Personally, I think there are three types of this snobbery I tend to run into. My particular club tends to have quite a few folks with Meade scope so I have never really encountered it there. But i have been in other situation where I do see it.
The first is, as you said, this sort of "You only have Meade" type attitude, as if the only scopes that really matter are the ones that have TAK or AP on the side. I don’t really see that a whole lot but sometimes it is there, sometimes a bit inconspicuously, but there none the less. I really don’t understand it, most people started out with something before they had their 15000 dollar setups; perhaps they have forgotten their roots.
The second type I have run into, and this is one I have seen far more often, is the type where you are the one with a shinny blue electrified Meade scope in a field with a bunch on homemade Dobs. Now don't get me wrong, I like dobs, I have one (happens to be a Meade by the way :) ) but thee are some people who use them that tend to think it just isn't the real thing is you are using a commercial telescope with motors and GOTO. I've even heard it said that you haven't put in your time as though there is some unpublished advancement you are allowed to make in astronomy on a very precise path. These folks generally mean well, but they are doing a great disservice to those they chide, especially if that person decides not to go to star parties again with them and even eventually gives up astronomy.
While I can almost see someone's point on the first two (strongly disagree but to each their own I suppose), the third one just gets my goat. I call this the "Anti Microsoft" crowd, only in this instance they are Anti Meade. This is generally for no other good reason then they don't like the big guy, complain about commercialization, etc. What they tend to forget is that these very same Big Guys have done more for astronomy (or in the case of Microsoft, for he personal PC) then any small group could ever do. They have leveraged enormous resources to make astronomy available to a greater number of people and bring it to the masses on a daily basis. Has the commercialization forced a loss of some of the old time personalization? Sure it has, but it has brought astronomy to a world of people that might have never had it otherwise and has forced competition and innovation hat might not have happened either. Perhaps instead of being anti-Meade, next time they should probably think of how they can work with the poor young obviously deluded astronomer and bring them over to their side thru inclusion, not dis-association.
In the end, any of those reasons for slamming on someone else’s choice in a telescope is petty and childish and should be taken for what it is worth, basically nothing.
Stephen P. Hamilton
King George Observatory
38° 21' 26" , -77° 03' 04"
Photos: My Photo Gallery