Re: For all those that use 3 kings, or any quick lites for that matter, READ!
I think for some people, it's definetly possible for them to fall in love with natural coals and never use quick light coals again. But for me, this just isn't the case at all. I used to smoke with Three Kings religiously, until I tried Golden Coals. These are a little better than Three Kings. However, regardless of which brand, flavor weakness simply wasn't an issue. You must have been prepping the bowl or doing something else wrong for flavor weakness to happen. Coals don't really affect flavor strength. They affect taste and harshness.
I've tried Exotica coals (which are natural). I've put them to the test by smoking back to back against the Golden Coals I usually use. Eveything was controlled and set up in the same matter. I can honestly say, that I didn't taste a single difference between the two. Sure, the Exotica's lasted longer. However, I nor my girlfriend could taste a difference. I use Starbuzz as well, and on both tests it tasted the exact same way.
I prefer to smoke quicklights because they're much less of a hassle in general and as far as I can tell taste the same as Exotica's which is "supposed" to be one of the best natural coal brands on the market.