I'd ask yourself a couple of questions:
1. Who am I cooking for?
2. How much will I be cooking?
3. Do I ever plan cooking for larger parties?
I started with a combo propane grill / small offset smoker - and within a year decided I did not have enough space and HATED how the cheap pits were a pain to manage temps on.
Then my friend graciously gave me a Pellet Cooker (Traeger Lil Texas Elite) which after a little TLC and some new electronics was up and running. I love that for family cooks I can set it and forget it - sort of. About ever 3-4 hours I have to check to make sure the pellets are feeding correctly. BUT if itís raining or the wind is a blowing maintaining temp is rough. And again I found that if I was cooking for more than my family it was a bit rough on the size.
Another issue I found with Pellet cookers revolved around electronics. The electronic issues with my Traeger and other stories I've read about people having electrical problems with their Pellet cookers at comps or at events (not all do this especially if well maintained) turned me off and I decided I didn't want to mess with that issue or have to worry about it. Stickburn - no electronics.
I also knew, based on feedback and my BBQ addiction that I wanted to start getting in to Competition and cooking for groups of friends. So researched it and decided on an offset stick burner with insulated Firebox and 1/4". Had looked at some pellet feeders but honestly for me the way a offset cooks rules.
With a $3000 budget you have several options but again it comes down to your preferences, how much youíll be cooking at a time, if you prefer not having to manage a fire every hour on the hour, and if you want it to be mobile. Iím sure other brethren will chime in as they have done Ö that is just my two cents though. Find what meets your future needs and go from there.