Question: How long have catalytic stoves been around, and how long have efficient non-catalytic stoves been on the market? (looking for a track record) Answer: I sold my first cat stoves in 1983. By 1985 there were many catalytic stoves on the market. Efficient non-cats also entered the US market around 1985 with the introduction of the Kent Tile Fire from New Zealand. US makers soon discovered the secrets of clean burning and produced non-cats from 87 til the present. Both types, cat and non-cats, have improved over the years. No stove is forever...all will need parts replacement or rebuilding at some time in the future. A cost of 25 a year for a cat (the actual cost over the cat 6 year life) is not unreasonable and is paid for many times over in saved fuel and pollution. As has been mentioned before, cats are best for folks interested in longer burn times. The fires tend to burn slower than non-cats. Those who want quick heat and a blazing fire might prefer a non-cat....very general advice. Choose the stove for the firebox size, price, looks, dealer, clearances, etc.