A golfer can carry ?13? clubs. Why? Not every club works in every situation.
However, if you don't want / don't have room for two smokers or
Like you it's just the wife and me. I had a MES-30 that worked very well. My only mod was to flatten a couple of aluminum pans and lay them on the chip box to deflect some heat and smoke into the chamber instead of sending the smoke and heat straight up to the vent. Many are the good meals I smoked. But every brisket laid on the walls ... and I wanted to learn to do brisket. So I bought an MES-40 Model 20070512 and gave the MES-30 to my son. He smokes with it every other week or so. Great box. However I have nephew who never has quite learned to deal with his MES-30. It may be a consistency issue with MES production.
Smokers are like girls. They're all different, and you have to learn them to love them (oh dear, I could get in trouble for this ...). My new MES-40 is taking a bit of learning. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151864/mes-40-model-20070512-temperature-problems It looks like I have the temperature issue under control. I'm on the road again so I won't do a major (12 hour or so) smoke again until Thanksgiving. I could be mistaken. Next up for me, insulating the heat radiator that doubles as the glass window. I'll keep updating the conversation as I make progress.
What I like about my MES-40:
1. The heat source/chip tray is opposite the vent.
2. I've never used the water pan (in either smoker) so I put my AMNPS in that space for my long smokes. For short smokes (1-2 hours) I use the chip tray.
3. Briskets don't lay on the walls.
The cost of the controller isn't a differentiator for me as I planned to change the MES-30 (had I kept it) to PID control anyway.