Yes, you are right, The ribs won't have the bark that you traditionally get but that's just it....with using straight hickory logs and braising them in the smoker it gives them a unique taste that is awesome! Maybe that's what is so good. You just can't find ribs like these. I also didn't say but sometimes I carefully put them back on the smoker out of the pouch to firm 'em up.
As for the butts...I still do get a pretty good bark. Not like one that's not wrapped, but there again, something different.
The next time you do some ribs; Try it, I think you'll like 'em! The next time I do ribs I will try the 3-2-1.
When you smoke the butts, how long do you smoke them? If you have all the time you want, do you leave them unwrapped the whole time?