I am with you on the overly smokey flavor.... I just never acquired the taste for tree bark. So I do my homework when it comes to fueling for heat with wood so that I don't end up with bitter or creosote tasting meat. Rather a nice blend of Smoke and Meat Flavor.
I do enjoy fighting the fire I guess because I am so anal retentive and it's what had made it fun for me for over 35 years of cooking and I can't ever see myself "Sitting and Forgetting."
I have never had two cooks where everything went identical because I learn something from every cook and that is what keeps me cooking.