Started about 3 years ago on a vertical gas smoker. Moderately successful using that but definitely got better with time. It was overall a pain to keep consistent temperature especially in wind and cold weather.
Well the pressure regulator died in that and the replacement I bought from Amazon did not fit. Quick trip to lowes to fix it ended up in an instant gratification purchase of a new MES 40 digital electric. This one does not have the window and looks like what I would call a generation 2.4. Vent us in the top in the left but it has the slanted drip shield with the small water pan. Hoping I don't notice any issues.
First smoke turned out good but was a pain. Pork butt and brisket that needed to be ready about noon. Overnight I had problems keeping the AMZNPS lit due low ventilation, high humidity, no wind, and then a down pour overnight. In the end, all was very tasty and I had some very happy guests.
Just built the mailbox mod today and doing 3 slabs tomorrow and some beans and corn.
Overall, anyone looking for good output without the hassle... Digital Electric & AMZNPS & mailbox mod appears to be the way to go. Would not have known that if it was not for all the great advice here.