I hear you about having to lift the lid to lower the heat. I hate to do that, but sometimes that is what has to be done. As far as moving the meat, I have the same problem too. I have seen mods with a baffle over the opening, like a piece of metal that covers the opening and aims the heat down under where the grates and meat is so it distributes more evenly, I just haven't gotten around to doing mine yet. Along with that I have seen the chimney extended down closer to the grate to keep the heat circulating from the opening through the stack.
I know it sounds worse then it is, but the silver smoker has done some very good food in the past for me and I have never really had many complaints, except for the heat control and moving the meat around a bit.