I'm debating on which smoker to get. I've got a MES currently and have enjoyed that for the last few years. I do miss the true smoke taste that I think you can only get with a stick burner however. I'm thinking either a Pit Barrel Cooker, WSM or offset cooker such as an Old Country version such as they sell at Academy. Budget will be around $500 so these 3 seemed in line. I am wondering, can you get a true bark in a pit barrel cooker when doing a brisket? I like the thought of not having to tend it as much as an offset but not sure if you can get a true crust or not? I've heard good things about the offsets too, but the drawback I've read throughout the boards is having to tend it with a new log every 30 minutes, and for long cooks that is a lot of work, but I get that is part of the fun for some. I suppose the better quality offsets you wouldn't have to tend as much. I've been scouring craigslist as well, but not finding much.
Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated!