"I'm sure the tarptent shelters are great too and i would definitely consider one if not for the fact that i would have to place a seperate order to the main one and the cost of shipping to australia would probably make the tarptent cost more than an msr one"
Isn't Franco an Aussie? Or have I gotten his location mixed up with someone else's? He's quite helpful, when he's around. I imagine he does go out wandering in the bush now and again, though ;)
I have a Scarp1, which I'm quite pleased with... and my first attempt at pitching it was in my living room. My little feline supervisors seemed to think it was rather amusing to watch me knocking things over with the long poles while threading them into position... it's MUCH easier to pitch outdoors because of that ;)
With the crossing poles it's free-standing, and even though the directions say to stake it down and THEN add the crossing poles, it's not actually hard to pitch it without staking it. I've done this a couple of times; rather than staking it down to pitch it in the soft ground, I used the crossing poles and then added anchors.
I would never advocate NOT staking a tent down just because it's freestanding, but I have to admit that being freestanding makes it easier to pitch at times. As I get better at selecting camp sites and securing tents, it will probably even out.