It was a twisty path as I bounced between several brands. We have an old Vermont Castings stove that is in need of a rebuild, eats wood like crazy and had 2 runaway fires last season. It gave us quick spikes of heat and cold as it devoured its load. I really wanted the new stove to give us more even heat, day and night. Knowing nothing more about wood stoves than soapstone can help flatten the heat spikes by absorbing then radiating excess heat, I started looking for a soapstone stove and was focusing on Woodstock. Then, while looking for someone to remove the old stove and install a new one I found that there was a wood stove dealer not too far beyond the village I live near. He carries and supports Pacific Energy, Hearthstone and Jøtul. I had heard many good things about Jøtul but not the other two. When I learned that Hearthstone made soapstone stoves I began focusing on that brand. I want to support our local businesses, mainly because their are so few. And, I want to establish a relationship with folks that can service our stove for years to come. While this was happening, I learned more from the great people at this forum about the properties of modern cast and steel stoves. One of the many things I learned here is that a well made stove can spread the BTUs in a load of wood over many hours. This lessens the initial heat spike and allows the heat to last. Bonus, when an unexpected cold snap hits, the metal stove heats quicker. So, this put PE and Jøtul back in the running. I heard that one if the stoves I was considering from Hearthstone had an issue with back puffing that was just poor design. Our wood stove is our main heat so I wont risk it. Hearthstone was out. PE has great looking design and many fans. Jøtul has great looking design, many fans, the long history and burns 3 times cleaner. I just ordered a Jøtul F500 Oslo V3 in Blue/Black enamel with a steel (I think) cooktop and a blower kit. Thank you to all who helped with my many questions. I have learned lots in a short time.