Apple computers are an investment, like Cazzy said I have spent a crap load of money on my computers. My wife's old MBP got passed to my daughter after 4 years of use, then passed onto a friends daughter after another two years of service and my daughter got my MBP after I used it for 6 years. I used to replace my PCs ever two years so I am actually ahead in the money area.
We always get Apple Care on the computers, did you know that when you buy other items at the same time as a computer those are covered as well? Yup it's true. Like Cazzy on my old MBP I have had two logic boards replaced and both fans replaced all at no cost to me. And as a bonus you get the continued phone support as well, some of the best support I have ever gotten. My wife has moved to the iMac and her first one after 2 years of service was power cycling, this started on Mother's day what a great gift from the computer. Dropped it off at the local dealer at the time replaced the power and logic board back up and running. Sold that computer for $600 2 years later.
I, like many, use both PCs and Macs but I do not get into this computer is better than that one argument. They are tools and each has it's strengths and opportunities.
Really need to make it to my first fest, maybe next year I can come down to Salado.
What was the temp you were trying to cook at? I know that on my EGG the lowest I can get it to settle at is 250. this is fine with me but at that temp with a butt it will take 12 to 16 hours. I have only done a couple of briskets so far, again at 250 a full packer can take as long as 14 hours.
As mentioned above I spread chunks all across the coals after it is stabilized at my cooking temp. I do not use a water pan just something to catch the drippings. I do not cook for a smoke ring but for the flavor and I have not been disappointed.