I like them. I bought a OK Joe from Academy 5+ years ago, before they began carring the Old Country models. If I recall the Old Country already has a small heat shield/diverter near the fire box. I had to add one to my OK Joe. The stack comes to grate level !! I had to extend my OK Joe stack down to the grate.
In other words, the Old Country comes equipped with the mods you'd need to make to the OK Joe model.
I've never used an Old Country, but it looks like it's a great first smoker.
Now onto to the 'offset dilemma'. Offsets are very TRADITIONAL smokers. While each smoker is different, offsets generally require feeding more often than the UDS/WSW crowd likes. So it's good for say ribs (4-5 hour cook), but they're lousy for butts and briskets on long 10+ hour cooks.
I have both. my OK Joe for ribs and a UDS style for Butts and brisket.