Conrad: I just bought my PG 1000. Like you it was site unseen. I have 3 other Cookshack smokers and know them to be well built and long lasting. I also know that they are made in the US and customer support is great. So far I am liking my PG 1000. The smoke profile is a little light but for me it isn't a big deal breaker. The direct searing area is rather small at 18" long and 10" wide but most of my cooking is for just 2 people. Like any new smoker there is a learning curve to using them and I am just on the bottom steps of the curve with 3 cooks in so far.