There are really only two benefits to ordering a Cookshack. And that would be the built-it digital controls and the ability to crank up the temp to 300 degrees. While it is American made, the Smokin-it and SmokinTex are American based businesses selling smokers.
I have yet to use the 300 degree setting. Rarely use 250.
The Amerique 066 which I own was bought used (off their site) and was still expensive (look at the cost of replacement parts if needed and the warranty has died). The wheels are small and wheeling around over an uneven surface is not difficult, but not smooth either. It does a fine job, but the racks are smaller than on the Smokin-it 3; the cord was short enough to require the use of an extension cord and I have now installed a new separate electric circuit in the location of my choice. The SmokinTex equivalent was the 1500, roughly the same price, two separate heating elements, and analog controls. Now that Smokin-it has dual door latches (which it did not have when I went shopping), larger shelves, larger wheels, longer cord, I would choose that over anything else on the market. Digital? Remote thermometer for cooking to temperature. If total digital control were an absolute must, I would pick up an Auber unit.
All three makes are good solid stainless steel smokers with roughly the same parameters. Take a good look at the warranties, to include the fine print and duration. Look at the cost of the replacement parts and the accessories.
Regarding wood: I typically use a single piece of wood, weighing 2 ounces for an entire smoke (I use a good grips digital scale and axe split to size/weight). The meat is only going to absorb so much and eventually, the exterior surface seals off the open cells due to the heat. After a couple of hours, there is no more penetration of smoke. It just sort of settles on the outside. Too much and you have a very bitter experience. Each of the companies sell wood.
There are also plenty of on line sources of wood, some even ensure that all the bark is removed. Here is one such site: http://www.bestbarbecuewood.com/
And wood another source: http://luhrjensensmokers.com/
Good luck with your decision and search. If it helps, I waffled back and forth before I chose the Cookshack. Joined their respective forums, emailed the companies, talked to them on the phone. I am quite happy with it. However, if and when I need to replace it, I will go with the Smokin-it.
Edited by old sarge - 3/23/13 at 10:32am