Man I've gone down this road before. Dehydrators are O.K. but they are not very versatile, and you can't play with taste as much as you can a good smoker.
For instance, I love to hunt Mule Deer, like everyone else after I take out the back straps and some good cuts off the hams, everything else become sausage or jerky.
If you use a dehydrator you can only define the taste by means of your brine. All the strips have to be sliced like a thick cut of bacon maybe a 1/4 inch. The dehydrator is great for banana chips, apple chips, etc.
So dehydrators are very limited to size, as well if you like your jerky with a carmelized exterior and a rich smokey flavor (mesquite, cherry, etc) than a smoker would be your ticket.
Alter taste by which chips you use
Alter type of smoking wet/dry
Size, smoke whole chickens or whole Salmon Filets
Make your own sausage and plenty of it
Dual-use as a BBQ
If you do end up going with a smoker, stay away from the electric smokers they sell at OSH etc. The heating element almost always rust up and end up shorting out after a year or two. And they are too small
I use a BBQ, which has a smoker unit attached to the side. You'll see em at OSH they look like a 2 chambered deal with a small drum leading to a larger drum that has a flue on it. These work real well since you can control the heat by manipulating the airflow. Just remember low and slow is the way to go. 8 hours for Salmon Filets and 6-8 hours for jerky and sausage.
Make sure to let the meat cool down, I double tupperware it and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours. I found out that single tupperware leaves the fridge smelling like the smoker, which I like..but my wife isn't too crazy about.
I posted a good brine recipe, for jerky just add alot different pepper spices for hot jerky. or add ginger and some extra fresh garlic for teriyaki.
I also like to take jerky strips and coat them in brown sugar for sweet jerky.
Best of Luck