Don't know much but my guess is:
you need a fainter limiting magnitude sky than 5.4 for many Messier objects to look much good or even be seen?
Maybe that T.V. product "Eagle eyes" (glasses that polarise light, and block scattered light, to allow brighter clearer vision) has an equivalent in astronomical filters? Is there a filter that could be put over the eyepiece to block the light-pollution and favour the star-light? Would looking through a telescope with "eagle eyes" help?
I once read that to see plenty of galaxies O.K. you really need a dark sky plus a 12 inch reflector. But I also read that "little big giants" binnoculars (9 x 63mm) (Orion and Meade do them I think) will allow M33's spiral arms to be detected in a very dark sky.
My guess is that 4.5 inch is not enough light gathering power for what you want; but with so much light pollution maybe a new technology is needed. I always thought 6in was minimum to really get going in astronomy, preferably 8in.?
I can see the point of a GOTO scope; but not much use if the object is all lined up but the sky is too bright to see it. But then if your scope was very good at light gathering; it would gather too much light pollution...? An expert should know the practical limit of scope size in a limit 5.4 sky.
Bigger scopes would have to be masked to increase focal length in such a sky?
Maybe you need a Maksutov don't they have high contrast which is what beating light pollution requires? Some filters offer high contrast check Lumicon range? Maybe refractor better in light pollution areas?
If all the city lights were switched off, with a 12 inch reflector you would get good galaxies. So that light is there somewhere. How to retain the light you want and differentiate out the unwanted light pollution?
They say you can see a star above from down a very deep well in daytime? So the key is highly focused directionality?
Already a technology exists to deal with wobbly atmosphere: they make a laser spot on the atmosphere and record its jiggly pattern; then use computer to subtract that pattern from a star they are looking at in similar direction. This way (speckle interferometry) they get a clearer image of the star.
How to identify "pattern of light pollution" and subtract it from the object you are looking at? Apart from digging a mile deep narrow tunnel in exact line with the direction of the object? (Don't know if that would work).
Need to make a "virtual tunnel"?
How do that?
A long exposure by a CCD camera chip could isolate out via computer the most persistantly over-time directional light; so use computer to subtract erratic light patterns?
Why not defeat light pollution WITH light pollution? They say eagles have a whole lot of oil drops on their eyes. What if: the telescope split up the image into a thousand little images all a bit out of focus ONLY relative to each other due to the spreading effect of the larger surface required to place all those images along-side each other.
WOW I JUST INVENTED SOMETHING?
Consider: each of the thousand images is slightly out of focus ONLY because of its displacement from the center of projection. Any scattered light included will also be distributed among these images. What if a pixel read each image (so each of the thousand images falls on its own pixel); then recombined them ONLY based on calculating the effect of each image's different angle causing defocusing relative to a neighbouring image. Same calculation for comparing groups. (Sounds like the "adding arrows" of quantum electro-dynamics where every way an event can happen is calculated...)
We get a final image which is self-referential through and through. Would it be a digital comb filter like in digital television?
If scattered light comes from different directions, would it be separated out by this "light seive"? Would the most mono-directional light be the main survivor of the split and recombine process?
Over many cycles of split/combine/split/combine would it be a "laser telescope"? Generating a highly coherent image with light pollution dissipating away?
A super-collider? Repeated "collisions" of the internal defining of the light with respect to the defining of angle and of area-groups and of volume-groups (volume due to repeating the multi-imaging/recombine cycle) could lead to a "mini-black-hole" where it is as if you have constructed a light tunnel deep into space for an exceptionally clear view? ???