Ok, so here's the deal, I'm thinking about buying a new smoker soon. I have a extremely cheap brinkman offset..like its their $40 model, it does ok but maintaining temps is hard..especially for a newbie such as myself. I've been doing research on various types/brands but I don't know what to go with. I've looked at Traeger's Juinor model pellet grill but with some of the reviews on amazon, I'm leary about it, especially since I'm such a newbie. Then I've looked at Masterbuilt 2 door propane vertical smoker. From the reviews, it seems like a good deal @ $199 on amazon, however, I've never used a vertical smoker. Then of course, there is the horizontal offset smokers out there but the price tag is large if you want anything but an ECB. I've seen some decent ones of craigslist that aren't ECBs that are affordable such as oklahoma joes and the good ones. Please help!!! I wanna get a smoker that I can really start to build my skills on so hopefully next year, I can attend a cookoff or two. Id like to stay in the 200-300 range.