Hey guys, thanks for all the great responses.
In a way I feel a bit guilty about posting up the question in the first place as I admit I was hoping that I'd get responses telling me smith machine was going to be just as capable of building good all round strength, when deep down I knew that wasn't the case and I'd have to bite the bullet and go onto the free weights for bench.
I guess the smith machine was my little ego boost that let me lift heavy and add on weight each session and give me a little bit of cockyness to hide from my weakness on the bench.
Today I dropped the ego and went onto the free weights. I had to drop a little weight which hit me mentally, however did 5 sets and now my technique is coming along and my balance is a lot better which will allow me to up the weight next session.
Although lighter weight my arms (triceps?) took a bigger hit, my chest is puffed and even more core seems a little fragile! So all in all I think it will be better for me in the long run. What seems like one step back will hopefully let me get many many steps forward in the long run.
Quite an interesting insight into the psychological side actually, how sometimes your arrogance needs to take a hit and u need to step outside safety net for u to make gains.
Same with the squat, V squat machine allowed me to lift heavy and get that little arrogance but when I switched to real squat I had to take the weight way down and go back to first principles.
In the long run, it's all good though.
Thanks once again guys, will keep u posted on my progress throughout the coming months.