This is funny as I've been turning more and more to mesquite these days for smoking, not just grilling. I think it works best in big offset cookers (which I have) as yes, if it doesn't light off and turn to TBS right away you can get a funky odor. Once lit, great odor and I never get an over smoked flavor.
I find it's easy to over smoke anything with oak which is used heavily in Central Texas. I'm way out here in the great desert Southwest where mesquite is used heavily.