I completely agree with you, I've had stick burners, (lots of smoke and work). Electric Smokers (not a lot of smoke but very little work) and now I have a pellet smoker. The pellet smoker produces more smoke than the electric and less work than the stick burner. The pellets you use make all the difference, Traeger pellets are infused with flavored oil, on the front of the bag it says "Natural Flavored Hardwood". I also found a lot of sawdust in the Traeger bag, that tends to collect in the auger.Pellet is for sure different than hardwood smoked meats. Unless my camp chef brand sucks and I need to drop 800 bucks on a trager. My pellet smoker doesn't give that smokey flavor I get from a hardwood smoked piece of meat. Anyone agree? Not sure if I'm doing something wrong but I stick it on 250 degrees high smoke. Used different kind of pellets. Still don't have the desired taste of smoke I'm looking for.
If you're serious about a Traeger, I'd suggest you do a little shopping first. A lot of my friends have Traeger smokers, and I was about to buy one when I came across Grillagrills. I did some research, I actually visited their plant here in Michigan and was blown away by the quality of the material they use. I was so pleased with my smoker that I bought their Primate gas grill.