Yeah, baby! That's my plan for tonight's packer!
Dice, to answer your question about why some folks separate before the smoke, and some possible benefits and drawbacks...
I mostly do this myself in order to reduce total cooking time and in theory, get a deeper smoke reaction with the beef. I seem to have a more prominent smoke ring with this method. I get great smoke penetration with pork, but beef seems to take more coaxing...maybe it's just denser/tighter muscle fibers with beef, or certain differences in the hemoglobins.
I don't only separate, but also trim very lean with most of my packers. The drawback to this is the risk of drying out the flat, which I did experience 5 days ago...not terribly dry, but noticable. I could have avoided this if I had left on a quarter inch or so of fat intact on the flat, though this particular packer had very little fat between the point and the flat. I also could have wet smoked, but opted for a dry water pan instead because of high relative humidity, snowfall and low ambient temp.