On any Kamado style grill do the following google searches:
brandname customer service
brandname cracked firebox
brandname cracked ring
Other important factors are:
Is a rack system available?
How many levels is the rack system?
What are the racks made out of?
Are cast Iron grates and griddle available for the Kamado?
How hard is ash removal, does it rely upon an "ash scraper"?
What is the thickness of the Ceramic?
What is the shipping cost?
Is there local support?
Does the fire ring and fire box have a stress relief slot cut in them (which reduces the chance of them cracking)?
Is the top rack flush with the top of the ceramic (important for easy removal of pizza bakes)?
Is the lower air damper a "slide type" (this makes connection of a stoker easier)?
Is the upper air damper just a daisy wheel, or does it also have a additional sliding disc assembly for greater air flow (for searing)?
Another option is one of the various steel Kamado cookers, such as the Akorn and Bubba Keg. They are typically not a lifetime option, as steel will eventually rust out. But they are a great way to get your feet wet with Kamado style cooking at a lower entry price.
Please consider size as well. The last 15 pound brisket cooked, used all of a 20 inch grill surface with a half inch of space at the edges. Think about the largest food you will wish to cook (over the next several years), and make sure your long-term purchase will accommodate it. Consider what is the largest group you will cook for, and have enough grill space to support that size of a gathering. Several of the less expensive ceramic grills have an 18 inch grill surface; measure the one you are considering.
The final consideration should be the price. A ceramic kamado should be a lifetime purchase; the amortized price per year is quite low regardless of initial cost. On a major grill purchase, cry once (when you open your wallet), and don't regret for Years the lack of features or support.
Edited by Addertooth - 10/10/14 at 6:33am