I bought my first smoker about a dozen years ago to smoke malt to make a smoked beer. I'm now on my 3rd smoker and still haven't smoked any malt.
My current smoker is the Bradley unit pictured. The biscuits cost about a dollar an hour to use. 6 hours is the longest I ever have the smoke on though. After that the meat is "sealed" and no more smoke flavor can be added in my opinion. With this unit I'm able to start a pork butt late in the day and let the biscuits run out, then the next afternoon after it has been on the heat at 200 to 220 for 20 to 22 hours I pull the roast off. Let me tell you, nothing beats the taste and with the electric smoker there is not much tending to do.
I started with a charbroil electric smoker, did a propane smoker for a little while and then the last 6 or so years used the Bradley. I do like the separate smoke generator. I've been toying with the idea of getting a La Caja China Box to roast a pig. I'm planning on hooking up the Bradley smoke generator to it to make smoked pig!!!
This has been my favorite smoker so far, Since I bought mine though a digital temp control model has come out. It does take some fiddling to keep the temp right on the base unit. Also, while mine has held up well over the years, I have had to replace the hot plate on the smoke generator, the smoker heat bar and the rheostat controller for the heat, but that was relatively minor. I've seen pictures on the web of practically melted doors and door seals on this unit, but again, mine has held up well in comparison.
I think my next unit will be the Cookshack. It is a little more money but offers digital temp control as well. The big difference is the Cookshack uses regular wood as the smoke source. I think that will be cheaper over the long run.
I smoke about once or twice a month. Fish, chicken, ribs, brisket, pork butt and I even smoke ground beef for my chili (I humbly add that my chili is pretty awesome, I get a lot of complements on it) on this unit. I think overall you'll be happy with it. Expect to monitor and play around with the rheostat a lot at the beginning until you get the feel for how the various settings affect the temp inside, as well as how the different seasons affect the temp.
New Lenox, IL