been smoking meat on my own since '95 and have used everything from a small water smoker to a trailer model. Best advice I can give you is nothing is written in stone. Find what works for you and do not let anyone tell you different. As long as you are happy with your cooking, that is all that matters.
There are a lot of forums for BBQ, find one that embraces you and doesn't give you absolutes. If you want to know what I use now or have any Qs, PM me. Enjoy the process, it is more fun than shaving!
"[I]I don't give people much credit these days; some would call that cynicism or pessimism. I call it realism[/I]". - Rorschuck