Personally I only notice the chem smell in KBB when it's lighting up. After the briqs are hot the stinky blue smoke goes away. That said, I don't use it for everything. It's also kind of a pain when using it for long cooks as in order to avoid that smell you have to prelight a chimney full every time you add more coal to the cooker. I deal with it though as I' get pretty good results with my Q overall. I'm not a KBB user exclusively however as I also use lump for my Akorn, and and after using it to "feed" my last long cook in my horizontal drum I think I'll be using it for long cooks from now on and save the KBB for shorter cooks and tailgating. I also love virtual lack of ash buildup with lump vs. the mountain of ash you get with briqs during long cooks. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, you just have to use the right tool for the job!
UDS'-55&16, Akorn, Bar-B-Q Kettle, Drum Grill, miniWSM, cobweb-covered gasser. I'm JD.