here are some thoughts:
see what you can do about using some form of minion method to build long predictable fires. After we got a basket, controlling airflow made long burns far easier
most people love lump: 1) it tastes better to some 2) it produces FAR LESS ash 3) some feel it burns hotter (buying cheap lump may lead to FAIL results, Walmart out here sells Royal Oak cheap enough we use it commercially)
don't forget the stall, there are lots of different beliefs out there, pick one and stick with it. stalling meat can take FOREVER to finish, having some understanding (again, pick your own favorite theory) will help you deal w/ stalling (hint, we blast through it with a temp increase, amazing what one more pecan split does)
if we are cooking for a set serve time, we shoot for a substantial rest time 'pre-serve', in our experience, you really can't tell the difference between meat that rested an hour and meat that rested for 3, IF YOU MANAGE the temps properly. I also "smoke" a piece of granite about the size of 2 or 3 bricks (weighs more) so I can pre-heat a cooler and add more heat if I feel we need the heat later. Wrap it in foil and watch out, I watched a guy drop a firebrick (where I got the idea) in a cooler and it re-emerged through the bottom in no time, funny except it was his favorite cooler :-(
depending on how your temps are running, you can reduce fuel consumption by putting insulation on the cooking part of the pit. we use a GI blanket or two....less fuel used can mean less smoke....be alert, don't get hurt :-) and get an OLD blanket, mine are old stained WWII issue, the new one might have a synthetic blend ?????
-----2 or 3 cents worth