I don't know why anyone feathers would get ruffled but the way it works it thus:
The "smoke ring" in BBQ is the red or pink color around the outside of the meat. It's formed when the nitrites/nitrates in the wood smoke combine with the myoglobin in the tissues of the meat.
The process of developing the smoke ring
halts when the meat reaches around 140 degrees, but the smokey flavor will continue to be absorbed until you pull it off the smoker.
Smoke rings don't really add anything to the flavor, but getting a really good smoke ring does give one certain amount of pride. Unfortunately electric and propane burners don't add as much of a smoke ring and it can be discouaging for the newbies that don't understand it not them.
Does that make sence to you? SO in answer to your question yes the smoke ring probably developes within the first few hours and using the 3-2-1 method the meat is exposed to the smoke for 2 to 3 hours. The final unwrapping is just for texture and sauces.
There's nothing saying you need to use thsi method but it's pretty straight forward for newbies until they learn what the meat is telling them. If they happen to forget to wrap no biggie either - I almost always forget until the ribs are nearly done but - I have CRS!
Hope this has cleared up any confusion ...