I'm not going to be much help here Al. As far as instant reads go, the Thermapen is the gold standard. I choked on the price, but it's a well made tool and has lasted me many years already, and I don't see it giving up on me any time soon.
Thermoworks does have a mini pen that they claim takes only 5-6 seconds for only 29 dollars.
The internal temp probe most of the BBQ crowd uses is the maverick dual probe. It helps to keep track of both the temp of the bbq, and the meat at the same time.
Al Launier;375348there was also the Super-Fast Pocket model [URL said:http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600c.html[/URL].