I'll bottom line it from my experience...

● Yes, MAK, without a doubt, has the best controller out there.

● As far as searing goes, again without a doubt the new MAK's can sear with no problem! If you haven't seen the review I did on the 2017 MAK FlameZone, check it out. That sucker gets blasted hot! My poor Weber Kettle, which I used to use for occasional searing, has not gotten used once since I got the 2017 MAK 1 Star with the FlameZone.

2017 MAK FlameZone, Searing Grate & Griddle - Detailed Review!

● "More electronics/ parts to break" - As far as I'm aware, MAK's don't have any more/less electronics/parts than other pellet grill brands, and the parts they do use are higher quality, which is why there's a price difference.

Check out the MAK Grills Tech Talk series for more info and read about the differences and why MAK Grills uses what they use. It's not just hype; there really is a difference.

The new FlashFire igniter absolutely rocks and is far less likely to fail than a traditional ignitor found in most other pellet grills.

● Space: As far as "Smaller for the price"... I've said this many times: A MAK's relatively small footprint is very deceptive; there's a lot more room than you think!

This is because most people ONLY look at the advertised "grate size" and think that's all there is. Don't forget to consider the vertical head room available. On a MAK, there's enough room for a complete, full-sized second tier shelf, which MOST grills cannot offer due to lid design. This literally doubles the cooking capacity.

Every year I do a couple of large cookouts/BBQ's. One of them is the annual Band Camp BBQ I do for the local high school Marching Band. I have no problems, whatsoever, cooking enough pulled pork to feed 160+ kids, staff & volunteers every year.

Here was four whole pork shoulders (17 - 20 lbs each) plus another 10 lb Butt I cooked for the Bus Drivers who were also invited this past year (around 180 people total).

Hope this helps!

Don't hesitate to ask more questions.