Maybe my post came off more negative than I intended. I did say that I would recommend it though in my defense if he primarily wants a smoker. You are right, all of the mods i have completed are intended for temperature regulation. I believe that most people would agree that this is important for consistently good results. I think this is important for me, as a fellow beginner, and they take time to disassemble if you want to use the "big" grill.
I have also cooked in hot/cold weather in the unit. The amount of fuel varies some with temperature but not a great deal. My main complaint is the wind. I think this is just basic science, the size of the firebox acts like a giant heat sink and requires the blazes of hell to maintain 225. That is why I warned him about needing to use wood. Like I said to me it is free, but if you had to buy it, you could spend some money. You could counteract this with a insulator of some kind, but then again you are modding, which takes time to disassemble if you want to use the big grill. I have seen when the wind is blowing perpendicular to inlet damper the airflow switch directions. We are talking +15 mph wind for this to happen. You could avoid this with planning and watching the weather.
I still stand by my recommendation.
If you want a grill = Weber
Smoker = CharGriller with SFB
If your on the fence buy both, because more is always better.