Air, I have a Silver Smoker which is a horizontal/offset. I don't struggle with the lump. It just requires a little more attention to the smoker becuase it burns hotter and quicker. I don't have any problem keeping temps I just need to be more aware of what the smoker is doing. I don't like to use lump for a minion burn because it ignites faster and generates more smoke than I want. I like to smoke with just a kiss of smoke. Because I don't use it for a minion burn when I want a longer intial burn I will use two full lit chimneys to start. I get up to temp quickly this way and don't have to add more fuel so soon. This is only my opinion, by all means use what work best for you.
Now, to add a little more confusion to the topic I will sometimes set up a minion burn with briquettes in the firebox and a full chimney of lump. This way a get the longer more controlled burn I am looking for and that kiss of smoke that I like.
JMHO but I would never go lump on briquettes. I would rather burn off the binders and dust from briquettes before introducing them to the cooking environment. There isn't this problem with lump. It burns clean and mine at least is laregly smokeless unless I am introducing smoking woods to the chamber. I don't know why your lump burns smokey because it shouldn't if its good lump. Mine burns clean and hot. Did you get it wet? Did you leave it outside? In any case, here are some combination I would use:
hot briquettes on lump
hot briquettes on wood
hot lump on lump
hot lump on wood
hot wood on wood
hot wood on lump
In no case would I use briquettes as the bed for my minion burn. As an analogy I would liken it to using a chimney starter vs. using lighter fluid. Its just how I do things but I don't like raw briquettes in my cook chamber. I almost always use briquettes on top of lump and then add wood chunks for temp control and smoke. More often than not though, my temps are rock steady and any fluctuations require only a subtle turn of a vent.