of the biggest challenges is focusing
Please enlighten me: Since when is focussing to infinity a challenge?
I hope you don't mind me butting in.
For me, the problem is that my lenses all focus "beyond" infinity when you turn the focus ring all the way around. That's actually a good thing as it allows some leeway for filters placed in the optical path after the lens.
Stars are incredibly good at showing up the least bit of misfocussing and are generally too dim to allow normal manual focussing anyway. Hence the usual series of test exposures while tweaking the focus.
The Live View plus notebook display facility should solve all this if you can find a star bright enough for the lens in use as you can not only focus in real time and in comfort from the computer but you are actually focussing using the sensor itself.
Give the old way a try one evening and take some star trails.
P.S. SNAP - simultaneous posting!