I just bought one of these about a week ago. It's a real nice unit for the money. I haven't done any meat smoking in years, but the price was right, so I grabbed one of these and have run a few chickens through it this past week.
I've noted the very same issues with my Grillware smoker. The temp control is veeeery touchy, but not unusable. That, and the super weight, cast iron wood box is just too heavy, takes forever to get hot enough to get the wood smoking. I switched to a metal baking pan, (for now), until I can find/build a thinner stainless pan. Oh! Watch that thermometer on the door too, mine reads about 20 degrees high!
Other than those little things, this is a great smoker for the bux, MUCH better than chasing my old "garbage can", charcoal smoker around the deck. It gets right up to and holds it's cooking temp great, (when you finally get it set), great recovery, big enough for a bunch of smoky goodies, can get/hold really high temps, (if ya need), easy to clean/maintain, seems to be pretty well built. I paid $169.00 at Lowes. Great Christmas gifts for my sons!
In any event, I rate this smoker as being a value similar to those little, 20 buck, portable "tail-gater" grilles, best money I ever spent!