I'm giddy about my new stove, which I installed a week ago. It replaces a crappy, smallish, no-name stove I've suffered with for a while now. The true value of the former stove, as it turns out, has been to demonstrate by contrast just how wonderful and effective is the new stove (the recently released Lennox Grandview 230---and no, I'm not a salesman, but I do recommend this stove if you're in the market). http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... KZfPvb38mQ
The stove wasn't cheap---about $1,950. Man have prices soared since I was last in the market. But it will pay for itself in short order.
Here are some things I like about the stove. The firebox is really deep (18 inches) from front to back, which allows the option of "north-south loading" (the ends of the logs face the front of the stove instead of the logs lying sideways). North-south loading is superior because it enhances the draft (you can still load east-west on warmer days). The firebox itself is pretty darn roomy, about 2 1/2 cubic feet. I like a big firebox because you get a large bed of hot coals, which makes for a more stable fire that's easy to adjust up or down as needed. And of course you get more heat.
The stove is plate steel rather than cast iron. I prefer plate steel stoves because they're less leaky and last "forever"; apparently cast iron stoves are prone to needing rebuilding at some point (they sort of fall apart). And, ounce for ounce, a plate steel stove is less costly than cast iron. No, it's not as pretty as cast iron, but it's every bit as functional.
Cast iron retains heat longer than steel, but this doesn't matter if you're running a stove for weeks at a time. And you benefit at the front end of the burn cycle, since a steel stove heats up (and warms you) much faster.
This stove has metal projections like fingers extending from the top of the firebox, which radiate heat that comes out of a vent-like slit. (The "heat exchanger.") You can feel the hot airflow coming vigorously out of this vent, almost as if from a blower.
The design is a step-top, with two levels and plenty of room for pots and frying pans. A huge airwashed window gives the stove a fireplace-like feel.
Great draft control on the side offering precise adjustments. And a terrific door handle with a very positive action. You can crack the door different distances and it will securely stay there and not drift.
I opted to go without the ash drawer. Ash drawers seem never to be large enough, and they're a pain to handle if you ask me. I prefer a lidded ash bucket and a shovel.
This baby weighs about 385 pounds and is already doing a credible job of heating our whole, elongated, ranch-style house (over 2000 square feet), with an assist from some fans (but not a blower).