i went the offset route. i love my pit. BUT it was double the 800 buck budget. through my thorough searching, im not sure i found much in that price range that would be worth buying. gator pits does make those pits that someone listed above, however the 16" diameter ones seem a bit small. and also a pit 24" in length is quite small. even with a 1/4" heat deflector plate, there will still be a hot spot, and a 24" barrel doesnt seem like it would be long enough.
with that being said, on your budget u might want to look into the verticals. What about a WSM?
but if you were like me, and you enjoy tending the fire, and that real wood smell from the 100% wood fire, then go with an offset. either save up a little more money over time to buy a real quality offset or...
actually... now that i think of it, check out old country smokers. they look built nice, but they are 3/16th steel instead of 1/4. but the all american line they make look like nice smokers and are cheaper than any others mainly bc the steel is a little thinner, but still thick enough. seeing that you live in arizona, 3/16s should be plenty.
which leads me to another thing... SHIPPING. that was my problem. any quality offset is going to run you 450-600 bucks just for shipping. remember these things are 900+ lbs
20x48 Pits by JJ
Cinder block smoker