I've been preaching Old School for a long time, and I've been good at getting my meat done right since before probes and fancy therms. I do use analog pit therms for internal pit temp(front,middle and end), but as for doneness I rely on my eyes and the FEEL of the product, be it Brisket,Ribs, Butt or anything else.Pull the bone on BUTTS, lift the Ribs to see bend, and feel your meat to check tenderness. Homer Page of Temple,Texas taught me this long ago as I watched him at his BBQ Joint off 57th St.
Now if you add in the factor of pre-burning,well you reach Nervana with a sweet savory taste
No bagged crap or chips, just sticks of a good wood(my sticks are of 3" or better splits) Oh, and the bark makes NO difference, the wood has it's flavor. By mixing woods one can adjust the intensity of that flavor from strong(like Mesquite), to mild (like Alder or Maple).Here in Ohio, I like the Maple-Oak-Apple mix. It's readily available and around here is rather cheap,lots of BIG trees being cut and sold uncut for a song, if you can haul it.
Belive me,I am OLD SCHOOL
and my circle never complains