Nothing fancy, just a plain old electric water smoker. I like it because it was fairly cheap ($70 or so at Home Depot) and very consistent. No coals to tend to keep a steady temp. Basically - this is what I do - prep the meat/fish the day before. For pork, I spread a thin layer of mustard on (not a fan of mustard, but you don't taste it much in the final product... it helps with holding the rub and holding that smoke flavor) and then put the rub on.
I smoke pork more than anything, and ribs are the standard 3-2-1 method. (3 hours of smoke, 2 hours wrapped in foil, no smoke, 1 hour out of the foil, no smoke) and for the pork (shoulder or loin are great) I smoke for about 6 hours, then wrap in foil for at least 2 more hours without smoke. Basically the same for brisket too. I also "mop" every hour using a spray bottle filled with beer, apple cider and cider vinegar.
I soak wood chips for a half hour or so, I like apple and hickory with everything but fish - cherry and apple are my favorites for fish. I don't like mesquite - too strong. I put a handful around the heating element, fill the water reservoir with only water (only really needed for moisture, not flavor) and let it go.
I have a similar smoker, but I'm considering upgrading. I can't add chips without removing the meat, so sometimes I'm low on smoke flavor when all is said and done. Plus, I'd prefer a front-opening smoker I can see into.
I'm really liking the tri-tips I'm cooking lately.
I've noticed that a strong brine in the water pan can affect flavor a bit, but you're right - it's really more about moisture.
Much more of the flavoring comes from the marinade (which I sometimes inject into the meat), and obviously the rub.