I bought my first CS smoker 7 years ago this month. Just a little 008.
Looking over my log this morning, I realized that I was on my 999th smoke with this smoker(I cater). Looking at the load I was taking out, I realized that 997 of them had been at/over stated capacity. Today's load was 41# raw weight of boneless butts. In at 11:30pm @ 225*, and out at 10:00am @ 190*, 8oz of hickory. Yield 23.75# or 58% of cooked meat. Would have gotten a full nights sleep too if it hadn't been for a bad probe insertion point. Oops!
Anyway, 999 smokes and counting. Original thermostat and heating coil and shelves. Pretty much exposed to the weather, but covered sometimes. Small, tiny, touch of rust on one of the legs. Otherwise looks and works as new. Oh, did I mention it's well seasoned.
I don't remember how much I paid for it, but less than $450 delivered IIRC. I have an Amerique now also and am thinking about doing another, or maybe an SM150. I guess you could say I'm fairly pleased, but I'm thinking the rust I found was there when new so I'm calling Cookshack Monday and sending this thing back.
Actually, the moral of the story is along the lines of the old saying, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." The 008's had a lot of fight in them.
The 1,000th load goes in tonight.