I had one of the Brinkmann early bolt-together offset and another Smoke-N-Pit. Both were complete garbage and both were thrown away. I then (20 years ago) purchased a much heavier gauge welded steel offset which is no longer made (similar to a Yoder today), and this was MUCH better, but was $800 then... Getting something anywhere resembling fire control, consistent temps, and clean sweet blue smoke is next to impossible on these leaky ill-conceived models. I've since upgraded to a much nicer Lang and all those hassles are gone. Have a friend who had been BBQing on 2 char-griller offsets for the last few years with moderate success, but he'd judged competitions and had had mine on more than a few occasions and knew his BBQ was lacking. This summer he purchased a nice Bubba Grills offset (reverse flow, like Lang) and immediately went from making pretty good BBQ do damned great slap-yo-mama BBQ in just two cooks.
For under $1000, you're just not going to get a worthwhile offset, IMHO, and then I cant think of one in that $1000 range. Anyone seen how much Lang wants for a 48 patio? That's probably where you start getting fairly good equipment. Maybe a larger Yoder (I think they start at $1500+- for what I'm talking about, but they aren't reverse flow).
In the $300 to $500 range, it's going to be VERY tough to beat the quality and versatility of a WSM. Get the 22. There are competitors who compete, and I mean
compete effectively nationally in KCBS competitions using a few WSM's; they're that good.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from everywhere)