I started with something like this a few years ago:
I didn't quite know what I was doing and used matchlight charcoal. A friend gave me an old portable type grill that I used to light charcoal on then add to my bigger grill when the lighter fluid burnt off. Throw some mesquite chips on there and pack it on one half with a pork picnic on the other side and it wasn't too bad for a poor college student.
I replaced it after over 2 years when the charcoal pan (not a grate, just a metal sheet) burnt through in a few spots.
I've upgraded slightly to a Smokey Joe and one of these: