An upgraded cooker may smooth out the process but I believe there are plenty of brothers and sisters here turning out top notch products on inexpensive units. Look at how many guys are running UDS's in comps and doing very well.
Sometimes I think we tend to BS ourselves into buying something we don't actually need but simply want based upon "What If? If it is something you really want, research the options and go for it. Sometimes I really just enjoy using one of my old drums without a guru. Sometimes I like running on autopilot. I wish you well in whatever choice you make.
Backwoods Fatboy, 2 Ugly Drums, 22.5 wsm and 2 18.5 wsm's.