Hello from NJ! My name is Russ and I am complete novice when it comes to smoking. I can cook fairly well and and pretty creative on the grill so I figured this is the next logical step. Being that I love BBQ and the lack of many restaurants in my area that actually serve real BBQ this is going to be completely self serving...maybe I'll even let my wife try some if I can get this off the ground I joined the forums back in March and after stalking the posts for a while I decided that one of the MES models would suite my needs. At first I was leaning towards the 30" model, but after reading many post that said to opt for the 40" if you could get one that's what decided to do. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $400+ for an item that I knew I could get for less then $300 if I waited. Well that time has come! The local Sam's Club finally got some on the shelves this week (this was at the Freehold location if anybody else in NJ was waiting for some to be in a store in our area, they had 7 left as of yesterday afternoon). I went and picked it up yesterday and couldn't wait to get home and assemble it. Tonight is the initial burn off and seasoning after I get out of work...can't wait to get this going! Now to figure out what to try to attempt first, food-wise, for this weekend!!!