Hey Troy! Just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the 24X48 Backyard. I just ordered one about 3 weeks ago and had many of the same questions. After much discussion with Bill and Sarah at PCC, I ordered the 24X48 Backyard with an insulated firebox (must have on that unit) without the grill top. The grill seems like a nice idea, but would rather have a dedicated grill for for direct/indirect cooking. Direct drips into the firebox would cause some serious flareups as well as ash permeating the smoke chamber. Additionally, there wasn't enough surface area to meet my needs.
As far as the other bells and whistles, I ordered the charcoal basket, charcoal clean out basket, brass drain valve and an extra thermometer for the lower part of the chamber. Shipping was another major factor when choosing PCC. I looked at many other manufacturers during my quest, but $500 to ship it was hard to justify, so I just bought 500 bucks in accessories/upgrades. I did order the trailer option for the cooker allowing for easy transport to family cookouts and such, plus I didn't feel like pushing that beast into my garage after each use. I didn't get the baffles with my 24x48. Cost/benefit reasons.
I may purchase the SS grates in the future, but those as well as other options can be added down the road. I just bought what I thought had to be bolted together during the build process. I was going to get the SS smoke stacks, but the secretary of finance vetoed that expenditure. If I want the stainless steel work surface or any other goodies, I can just call PCC and have them add them as needed.
Anyway, hope this helps...
Last edited by DcsDiver; 04-28-2013 at 10:37 PM..