I smoke with a Brinkman and have good success. Either a big butt or brisket takes a full charcoal pan and 14 hours. Ribs take a lot less time.
I have not had much success with big cuts of meat in a Weber kettle... no matter how many times I watch Steven R. succeed.
As you probably already know, control of the amount of smokiness can be controlled by type and amount of wood. I add wood early in the cooking. Pork generally gets hickory with a bit of apple or peach. Beef gets hickory or mesquite. Sometimes I use oak but not too much since I use that more for "Santa Maria style" which is hot grilled rather than smoked.
I tend to do butt/brisket overnight. Starting the night before a party/dinner. That way there is time to cool a bit and shred. At time of service sauce it up and heat it gently. No hassle while entertaining guests.
(p.s. Beans always get done the day before. No matter which style - Boston, BBQ, or something else... they benefit greatly from a sit in the refrig overnight.)
One does not have to stand over a Brinkman. I check only 2 or 3 times over the 14 hour period. Later in the smoking the live coals can get covered and smothered by the ash, so all I'm really doing to maintain is to use a big spoon and scoop the live coals to the top of the charcoal pan. One does not want to open the door or remove the lid too much else the meat will never cook.