As far as bang for the buck, you might want to take a look at Louisiana Smokers / Danson.
It uses a side burn design similar to Yoder.
When I first started with pellet smokers, I was ready to buy a Traeger as a "starter unit". Then I went to an industry show to meet the Traeger guys (we had been talking for a while remotely) and they were going to sell me a display model at a big discount. When I got there, I saw the LS and Traeger (and some others) being demoed within a few yards of each other. After a day of watching and talking, I got an LS (actually, we got two).
LS is much better built, heavier gauge, made in the US. I REALLY like the side burn design(no auger fires, no babying the auger). The team who supports products is great (I have picked up the phone and talked directly with their engineering team). LS isn't perfect, but IMHO it is far superior to the Traeger. Traeger seems to be much more interested in becoming the highest volume supplier - not the supplier of the best products (my opinion). I still talk to LS and Traeger (and others) at least once a year at industry events, but I still prefer LS.
Since I got my LS, we have had a parade of other smokers come through - an IPT (built like a tank, excellent controller but sadly, out of business) and a collection of everything from home builts to electrics, but for day to day smoking, I keep going back to my LS.
Another brand I also find interesting at the lower to mid segment of the market - Camp Chef. Really innovative, been making pellet poopers only a few years but have been making outdoor cooking appliances for decades. They use a bottom auger/center burn design (kind of like traeger), but they have some really innovative ideas. I love the feature that allows you to dump the ashes from burn pot without disassembling the grill. I think you can also use it to dump the fire (not sure that is officially sanctioned) so you can shut down without worrying about it burning back up the auger (or having to unload pellets).