I bought mine a month ago or so (MES 30) from Amazon and paid 289.00 shipped. This was for the remote controlled version. I feel lucky since I have love it and told friends and fishing clients about it. A client just wrote me to tell me that the price has gone up to 329.00 plus shipping. I guess I timed it right.
Now after saying that, I got the MES 30 because I didn't even know there was a 40 version at the time I stumbled across the thing on Amazon. I'm pleased with it but would have paid a little more for the larger one.
I went with the MES to begin with for several reasons. I'm a cheap bastage and I hate buying lots of propane, charcoal, or smoke wood. I have a large solar power system that generates more power then we use so I even cut grass on electricity. The electric smoker uses less wood chips to get to the goal of excellent smoked meats.
The remote control feature was what clinched the deal for me. Life just doesn't get better then being able to monitor everything from my chair in or out of the house. I can re-stoke the smoke box when I get up for the next cold one.
I like that oven range like control for temperature. The MES 30 can't recover like the 40 with the larger element true, but when you load chips through the side and don't need to open the door, I don't find that to be a problem.
Do I wish I had known about the 40? Yes but that has not slowed me down from fully enjoying my MES 30 completely. I have cooked so much stuff in such a short time on it that I can honestly say that it has changed my life. There ain't no going back.