The MES 30" and 40" got bad press on their older units, because of some flaws in their design. Masterbuilt has made great strides to improve their products, without increasing the price. Their latest models have had little problems and added a remote control controller & wheels,
I own (2) 40" MES and at least (1) runs just about every day. I have logged more hours on them than most. In December, I ran at my MES at 225° for almost 2 weeks straight, while testing one of my little gadgets. The outside temps were below 20° the entire time and it held temps well. The digital controller is not very accurate, and mine can be as much as 25°-30° off, depending on the temp. I set the controller at 200° to maintain 225° at the middle grate. If I set my controller to 275°, the grate temp can climb well over 300°. I monitor the grate temp with a Maverick ET-732.
Even though the controller temps seem to be off, the meat probe seems to be fairly accurate.
I looked at Cabelas Pro 100 and it seems to be a great unit. Like most of us on a budget, $1,299.99 vs. $298.99 for the MES is a little tough on the wallet.
Any smoker you buy has a learning curve, and once you figure it out, you're gonna make some great Q