I do think the reverse flow works better in the smaller smokers, but with any particular style, there will be a tradeoff. I love my little Lang, but it works for me. By adjusting the level of the tongue, I can still have a warmer spot, or I can easily make the temp consistant across the grates. Because this is the only smoker that I have, and my cooks have grown much larger, I need every bit of usable cooking space I can get. The Lang showed her worth when we cooked for 300 this past summer!
As for using fuel, I am using 1 stick every 45-90 minutes depending on the weather and the load in the cooker. I don't find that excessive, but what do I know!
Below is a picture of when reverse flow really works, with 180lbs of pork butts using the entire cooking grate. In a traditional offset, 1/3rd of this meat would be charred into little pork butt rocks. Marie cooked them all just perfectly!