I don't know how much or for how many you cook. I will give you my opinion since I have recently purchased an MES. I like it. I got it specifically to replace and old electric I bought for city boy usage. Seems apts in cities and even homes in gated communities have laws now in some areas as to making smoke. I know, city folks, go figure, its like a sweet perfume on the wind.
I have old pipe pits, I love them too, but they are not set up as smokers. But I can BBQ plenty.
Back to smokers, I like my MES, Its almost foolproof. They don't even make a dummies book for MES operation.
Some I have read had problems with temperature calibration, mine was perfect.
I really have not seen a down side yet. I just received my A-MAZ-N smoke generator, make sure you have a blow torch to light it. I just ordered a little butane hand held. But using the smoker's chip tray and loader gave me as much smoke as my old electric did and it has great temp. control so far. Where ever I have set it, it just sits and maintains, never surpassing a 10 degree change, normal running about 5. Its a smoker, and as a very smart person on the boards says, its all about patience.
I have smoked, chuck roast, chicken, spare ribs, brisket, Totally awesome beans and turkey so far. I have not done a butt yet, but we live too close to Texas. Big on beef and tomato BBQ sauce. Besides the market has not had a butt sale since I got it. LOL
I am not saying its better than the rest, only saying its worth what I spent and currently I am very happy with it and the results.
I will make a suggestion, not knowing your smoking expertise, include in your set up the price for a Maverick remote thermometer. Its a sound investment especially until you get comfortable with what ever smoker you chose.
If you entertain or have parties, I would suggest the 40. If its just a regular family you may enjoy a 30.
So that's a Smoke generator, butane torch, and a remote thermometer. AND...... start looking for a 2 to 3 foot sturdy box to set it upon.
I would give mine 5 stars. I wish now it was a 40, but that is not the smokers problem.
Great folks here, just read and use the search engine, its a pleasure then to eat what you mess up.
Forgot ya better add one more item, a camera..... LOL