Funny to hear you compare an SQ 36 from Meadowcreek to 48" and up offerings from Lang and whoever. The smallest offsets like the SQ36 are of course going to differ greatly from anything 48" and up. In something as small as the 36, it is hard to not be close to the fire and suffer what you describe as hot spots. Even the smallest charcoal fire will be as hot as the ones on the larger smokers when you meat is right next to it. Where the size of the chamber alone provides room to get away from firebox level heat and in to the zone of low and slow required to produce what you are after. Also lining the pan of any reverse flow with simple foil will add additional protection from too much direct heat so the reverse flow design can work as intended and smooth out the hot end. Unfortunately this site has become a marketing board for Lang smokers. There is nothing special about the cooking ability of Lang over others. Maintaining correct temps is how well you know and use your rig. Thicker steel holds heat longer, yes. But it is up to the user to know how to tend the rig to hold temp. If you are exposed to,wind, fix that! If you are lazy and dont tend the fire, fix that. If you just load up the box with charcoal and let it burn away, fix that. If you want set it and forget it, you maybe wanted a pellet smoker and got caught up in the idea of stick burning from watching too much BBQ pitmasters. Reverse flows require understanding fire control, air flow control through the chamber not just the firebox, heat retension, patience and constant attention. The results are the best you can get though!
Now if you want a good looking smoker as well as a functional reverse flow. Look at mine as an example. I did not just say it was better at cooking Q. That requires all the above mentioned, experience, recipes and some skill too. There are many out there. Some of the most functional are home built. That takes skill and knowledge that few possess here. Brand aint the answer folks. Common sense solves most questions I see posted here. If you understand the process this food requires to make the good stuff. I wish this board would do a REAL 101's of the BBQ process in a reverse flow so this constant marketing for Lang could be replaced by exchange of knowledge. It would serve the community better! And not just help sell more rigs for Lang.