One thing about last years event was that it co-incided with a NYC heat wave. It was a touch too stifling for my northern butt. Otherwise a great event.
I didn't read through the threads above, but I beleive they kept fast pass sales to 2000 and was really really worth the price.
Fast pass or not, you can stop and talk to the pitmasters.
I brought a copy of Mike Mills' Peace Love & Barbecue and had as many pitmasters sign as I could. Amid all the hoopla, these guys (and a couple of gals) are down to earth, friendly, and happy to talk or mug for the camera.
I was speaking to Ed Mitchell and he pulled a current issue of Gourmet out of his overalls. He proudly showed me an article about him and we chit chatted a bit. Nice man. I picked up a copy that evening and had him autograph it the next day, he had a twinkle in his eye.
Mike Mills didn't beleive we travelled from Canada just for the BBQ party until I showed him my drivers license. He had his entire staff sign the book!
Back to the passes - worth every dime (for me anyway)!