Re: tough decisions!!
My wife just bought be me the 22.5 in. WSM last month and it has been great. Its my first smoker so I'm not going to try to approach this as if I know what I am talking about. All I can say is that I have used it twice now and once you get a hold of the temperature control you can for the most part peg it in where you want it and go on your way. Everyone who told her this model is great for beginners was absolutely correct. (Who knows though, a guy with 3 years under his belt might be looking for something else). I too am in KC and can confidently say the brisket I put out last weekend was better than anything the local joints were serving.
Hope this helps.