The RF's are designed to have a more even temp across your cooking area. If you get an offset you can get it with tuning plates which will even your temps across the cooking area just like an RF but will allow you to adjust them to create hot spots if you want them. On the smokestacks, I know Jambos vent out around grate level. Check out Ritch with Gator Pits....I think his quality and attention to detail is second to none!
Char Griller Akorn/Assassin 28 Gravity Feed/BBQ Guru/Maverick ET-732