You can also buy charcoal flavored pellets. I haven’t done so but my friends swear by them for that charcoal taste. Ymmv.Great suggestions in here. I’ve researched pellet grills for quite a long time. Oddly enough I decided not to get one and put $ into a nice natural gas grill instead. I saw that @FatMax and @baymen mentioned TEC infrared grills. They look amazing and I was definitely considering them, but in the end I didn’t get approval to spend that much money from my wife… so I kind of bought the poor man’s TEC which could also be an option.
I bought a SABER Deluxe Black 4 burner. It is not the same as TEC but is described as “Infrared” so there are some similarities. If you have a Weber 3 burner, a comparable model would be a Saber Deluxe Black 3 burner. You can get them in NG. You mentioned you wanted something that would be easy to use. The greatest feature of the infrared style grill is that it doesn’t flare up. There is literally no way for the grease and food droppings to hit the open flame. You'll have to look at the grill grate design to see what I mean. I'll just tell you that it does work. If ease of use is important then infrared would be a great consideration, and the Saber can do it for a more reasonable price compared to TEC. I also smoked a pork shoulder on it for the first time using a roasting rack and foil packets of wood chips and was really surprised at how well it turned out.
In regards to the endless amounts of researching and youtube videos I’ve watched about smokers… that I never really used:
I definitely agree with @Ron Swanson on the RT-B380X Bullseye Deluxe. In fact I did not know the Deluxe version existed. I love that it has the ash cleanout drawer. I had been looking at the standard Bullseye but in general didn’t like the need for a shop vac to clean out the burn pot.
I saw you asked about the Pit Boss Pro Combo Grill. There is a good chance I may have purchased one of these but I didn’t for the same reason you mentioned. Pit Boss doesn’t have an NG hookup. If you have NG it is so convenient. I feel like they are missing opportunities. And to my knowledge there is no pellet / gas combo that has NG available.
I saw @snore mention the Masterbuilt gravity series. I was taking a serious look at these and they look great. You get the charcoal flavor with automatic temp setting electronics. I have a friend that has a RecTeq pellet and a Masterbuilt gravity series and he told me the flavor you get with charcoal can’t be matched with pellet… but yeah, the pellets are easier to deal with.
@SteevieG mention the Char-Griller Gravity 980. I watched a ton of videos of the Char-Griller Gravity 980 vs. the Masterbuilt gravity series and the Char-Griller always won. Mainly because of better quality of components. The chimney part and internals are more heavy duty. But the 980 definitely have a bigger footprint, and both had great flavor. The Masterbuilt is more vertical compared to the CG980. You might want to check out the Char-Griller Auto-Kamado. It’s literally a Kamado style grill with the pellet smoker electronics and a lot smaller footprint.
The smokers that I have been considering as a ‘maybe’ for the future is the Pit Boss vertical smokers. There is one you can get a Wal-mart (Pit Boss Brunswick) and one you can get at Lowes (Pit Boss Pro). Reason I like them is they are affordable, they have an easy ash cleanout system (no shop vac needed) and since they are vertical they have a smaller footprint which can be a factor on my patio.
Last thing I’ll leave you with is… if you just want to give pellet smokers a try but don’t want to spend a ton of $$$ the Pit Boss Lexington at Wal-Mart gets good reviews and comes in under $300. It’s very simple, which I feel could be nice. And if you go to Wal-mart at the right time you may find these discounted even lower.