Re: Bulk coals
naturals are wonderful outdoors or someplace where you don't care about powdered ash getting all over the place; most of my smoking is done indoors though. naturals are also unpredictable; for my heads i know it takes 3 coco naras. everytime. with naturals, you usually make too little or too much, and too little is a hassle because you have to interrupt the session to make some more, and too much is annoying because you just wasted some coals that could be used on another head.
like i said, i prefer cocos because they are STUPIDLY convenient, they are idiot-proof (not saying i'm an idiot, but at least the coals are one less thing i have to worry about). that being said, i still like to use my good old nakhli orange/lemonwood coals every now and then.
also: i think there is a slim, almost negligible difference between bulk coals, and other naturals - it is more pronounced when smoking certain flavors though.