I'm not sure I can answer all (or any) of your specific questions, but I do have a Big Green Egg in Large. It's an excellent all purpose outdoor cooker. IMHO, the big 3 of ceramics are: Big Green Egg, Primo, & Grill Dome. I'm sure the others do everything just as well as the big 3 do, but I have concerns about warranty issues and customer service, and for the $50-$100 savings going to an "off-brand" doesn't seem worth the risk to me. Even with Grill Dome, they have a great following, but it is a small company run by the owner. Great for personal service, but scary if he decides to not run the company any more, again IMHO. These cookers use very little lump due the insulating properties of the ceramic, the dome reflects the heat back in all directions, and for some reason that I can't quote, they produce a very moist product. Some have taken these cookers to around 900* dome temp for authentic Neopolitain Pizza, and others have loaded up the firebox and burned continuously for over 24 hours at just over 200*. I've cooked pizza, baked bread, smoked chuck rolls & boston butts, and seared beef and tuna steaks, as well as various side dishes. I've personally had my Egg burning at a solid 225* for 36 hours straight on a load and half of lump. That's the good!
The cons. My large has an 18" grate, so it's not the roomiest of cookers. There are however, additional grates that you can use to get further from the fire box (ie: you can load up two levels of meats to smoke) and also get closer for high temp searing. If you go to an extra large, you start losing fuel efficiency and some state that the temps are harder to control, so it's sort of a trade off. Most recommend a Large and then a smaller version to be able to increase capacity or have the ability to cook 2 different ways. (ie: smoke on the large and sear or prepare sides on a small or medium) Pricing for an XL rivals a large and small. This is a relative comment, but they are expensive. Once you get one and see how versatile they are, that thought goes away pretty quick.
Just recently I read on another board I frequent about a similar style cooker, although it's not ceramic. It's competitively priced and has a few neat options. Here's a link. BubbaKeg.com
As far as recipes go, there are really no ceramic specific recipes. Any smoking, baking, searing, etc that works indoors or out will work just as well on a ceramic. One of my favorite recipes is Kerri Hoggs apple pie beans. I've made it on my ceramic, gasser and stovetop, and they all turned out wonderful. Heres a link. Keri's Hog-Apple Baked Beans - Topic Powered by Eve For Enterprise
Here's are a couple links for excellent info on Ceramics:
GRILL DOME FORUM
Naked Whiz Ceramic Charcoal Cooking, Kamado Style Cookers and Lump Charcoal)