I bought that same smoker at Academy 18 months ago. It was by far the most substantial piece of equipment I could find for the price. It cooks really well, holds temp pretty solidly and having the exhaust stack located beneath the main grate seems to help even out the heat across the smoke chamber. It took about 6 cooks before the paint started to peel on the firebox, so I bought a phosphoric acid rust preventative product that several of the Brethren recommended and took a wire brush to the firebox. Applied the product to the firebox and waited three days before wiping it down and repainting with high-temp spray paint. Still looks good for setting out in the Texas weather for a year. Only two problems I have found with the Brazos - one, it is danged heavy to move around (600 pounds, per the manufacturer), and the steel on the inside of the firebox lid seems to be flaking. As thick as the material is, I don't foresee a problem for a long time. I want to put some casters on the front legs, so maybe I'll try the above suggestion. BTW, the top rack cooks a bit hotter than the bottom, but based on the biscuit test, temps are pretty uniform from right to left.
BBQ Apprentice - Old Country Brazos offset, 22.5 WSM, Various gassers, portable grills, etc.