Well, the nice thing about this forum is you can read what everybody else is doing, and determine how applicable it is to your wants and needs. That is what I did before investing my dollars. After doing the research, I determined that the lowest price Cookshack clone I could find with an Auber controller and an AMAZEN smoker is what I wanted. Summarily, this is why:
1. Tight temperature control for smoking more temperature sensitive items
2. Smoke for at least 8 -10 hours unattended
3. PID type digital electronics I could bring indoors easily during cold winter months
4. Easily serviced (by me) components
5. Robust build quality
6. Modest cost
Based on the above criteria, I could not find an off the shelf solution. Plus I really enjoyed the build, and documenting it for the SMF.
Although I don't have first hand experience, I had read many times that a Cookshack or Cookshack clone will not smoke very well when plugged into a PID controller. This is primarily because the controller is turning the heating element on/off every second or so, which does not lend itself to keeping the wood in the wood box going. As far as the holes, that is to provide enough air for the AMAZEN smoker to stay lit.
To say I am thrilled with this set-up is an understatement. I am also quite certain that your future smokes will turn out great without any modifications.
So, at the very least by reading this thread, you now know you don't want to pursue this solution.
Or maybe now you do, based on my list of criteria??