No matter what you do, there will be some people who will eat your que and say, "This ain't real (Texas, Carolina, St. Louis, whatever) BBQ."
You mentioned the Salt Lick. I like the place, but there are Texans who say it is crap.
If some BBQ expert cleans his plate and says your que isn't "real," he's blowing smoke (pun intended). If you have people taking a few bites asking for a refund. Then you have a legitimate problem.
"Good" BBQ is somewhat subjective. Bad BBQ is pretty hard to sell. If your que is moist, tender and has good flavor, it doesn't have to taste like the que at my favorite BBQ joint for me to like it.
It is good to listen to your customers -- up to a point.