If you go with the spicewine talk to Chris Rocke, he's the west coast distributor and can get you hooked up. That will answer your pricing question. Plus he's not far from you either. I just picked up a spicewine this past weekend, can't wait to break it in on Sunday!
As for your question, I don't think any cabinet style smoker will have even temps within the box since heat rises and raidates from the metal on top. All cookers will have variation, even the home oven has temp differences. This is a good thing really since variety is the Spice (wine) of life. Sorry I couldn't help myself. ;)