I have the MES 40, the newer version with the 1200 watt element, like the one MB is selling now. The smoker works very well. I don't smoke meat on it any more since I own an Assassin GF, but I do routinely use it to make bacon wrapped japs. In the past, I've smoked lots of excellent Q on it - chicken, turkey, pork butts, pork loins, etc. It does really well overnight, doesn't have to be "tended". I do feed it wood chips the first few hours of a meat smoke, when it is most important to have smoke present, but usually went to sleep and let 'er go.
Your friend will be able to do outstanding Q on the MES 40, no worries. As an aside, can't ever do comp's on it, comp's don't allow electric - FYI.