Thanks for all the great advice, folks. I guess the main thing I was worried about was a smoker malfunction since I'm not familiar with it. I'm not a newbie to smokin' meat, so I've been down this road of taking longer than anticipated before. I just wanted some reassurance that I didn't have a problem with the new smoker. I do have some smoke leakage in the upper right corner, and wondered if that led to enough heat leakage to affect the cook time. I've read alot on this forum about not being concerned with that so didn't think that was the problem. Guess I just got a tough butt this time that needed some tamin'. The end result was excellent, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
Thanks again for the advice. I'll post again when I do my next one and let you know how it went. I will certainly use all your suggestions to experiment and see how it turns out. I've already had some great results with yardbirds (these also took longer than anticipated - but have since read to cook these at the 250 deg setting instead of 225 on this forum), spare ribs, and trout fillets (especially the trout - best I've ever done). 200 deg for 1.5 hours and the fish was excellent after brining overnight. They were so wonderful looking I took a picture of them on the plate after I took them out. Never done that before with anything I've cooked!
Again, thanks for the feedback. GLH, I don't think you are harsh at all! I welcome any and all comments. I'll try injecting the mop next time, or may try no mop just to see how it works. I've always done a mop on the Weber kettle (indirect) but that is much hotter than this cooker.
I'm looking forward to my first brisket. I'll let you know how it turns out. Now that my Chiefs laid an egg in the playoffs, I'll have some extra time on my hands!