You can also ask yourself if the Akorn is worth 3x the price of a Weber kettle. And is a Weber kettle worth 3x the price of a cheap charcoal grill?
1. The grill is a tool.
A great cook can cook on any of them with success. The experiences will be different but the end results won't be for the most part. Better tools don't typically produce better cooks. They might produce happier cooks though. Happiness with the tools you choose is important.
2. Some tools work better than others.
If you are passionate about grilling, I'd recommend a better tool for the job. I am passionate about grilling. I have been for a long time. When the time came where I decided I wanted a better tool (the kamado grill) I fell into your same spot. I had saved my money to buy a ceramic kamado grill. Right before I was ready to buy it I saw the Akorn at Lowes for $299. I decided to give it a try because I wasn't sure that I needed to spend the extra 4x I was planning to spend either.
I bought it, put it together, started trying to cook on it. I had a good time with it. I immediately found myself looking for fixes and workaround to make it do the things I wanted it to do 'better' that it was capable of doing them out of the box. Fixes and workarounds were working ok for the most part. I was able to make the Akorn do everything I wanted it to do. I put it through it's paces cooking on it almost daily for about six months. I was still left wanting in the end.
The Akorn was not going to stand the test of time for me. The finish was burning off on the outside and I was seeing rust, especially around the removable ash pan on the bottom. With great care I might have been able to get 2 years use of of the Akorn. The average owner who grills a lot less than I do might get 4 years out of it before difficult problems set in.
3. If you are passionate about your project, you should buy the best tools and accessories you can possibly afford.
I have learned this lesson the hard way on more than one occasion. I like the 'buy once cry once' mantra here. When it comes to cooking these days, whether it be on the grill or in my kitchen, I buy tools and accessories that I expect will last me a lifetime. In a lot of cases, I would have saved money by doing this the first time.
If you do choose the Akorn, my advice to you it keep it under a covered area and do not let it get wet. Mine was kept under an awning and never used out in the rain or left in the rain. I still had rust issues. If you buy the akorn, be patient with it. It is not as air tight as the other ceramic grill options and it is more difficult to control the temperature because of this. Once you realize that specific pinpoint temps are not a requirement to do ANYTHING in the world of barbecue and grilling, you will find that you can cook successfully on the Akorn.