I started re-reading the last 30-40 pages of this thread to review some of the new ideas, and I have to say that this thread has become an amazing source of information. If only someone could create a master cross-reference to the designs, and modifications. A monumental task, no doubt.
I built my first of 6 UDS's about 2.5 years ago using elements of Norcoredneck's picture plan, circa page 3 of this thread. That thing is the epitome of KISS. I was too a doubter of this simple plan, but I have to say that 3 years later, my original is still going strong. I have built and sold the other 5 over the last summer and fall, and people love them.
Maybe I just got lucky in my implementation, but I have most recently done a couple cooks of pork butts, with virtually no tinkering whatsoever with temp or intake settings. These things work rock-solid. I use a expanded metal charcoal basket (15 inch diameter) wired on top of a weber charcoal grate. It is 12" tall. If I fill it 3/4 full, and use 12-14 red-hot coals to start my minion method, I can obtain 225-250 in my UDS for as long as 14-16 hours depending on outside temp. I most recently went 13 hours with the temp hovering between 25-30 degrees F, in Minnesota. It's amazing.
I have also built a intake blower using a design from righteousdog, and that thing works awesome too. It maintains my temps overnight within 5 degrees, and I don't have to check on it AT ALL, while I am peacefully sleeping. I think I have spent about $175 total out of pocket on my original UDS, including the more recent blower attachment. And to think, 3 years ago I was wanting to drop $1200+ on a XL Big Green Egg. No way.
Best of luck to you all.