Hello, First time poster here. I used the search engines extensively to try to answer my questions and found some great responses. This forum is a wonderful resource with very knowledgeable posters. However I have some more questions. I bought a Vermont Castings Defiant Catalytic in early 2005. It was replacing a pellet stove in our new home (we lose power from time to time and wanted reliable winter heat). This stove is our primary heat source. Our backup heat source is a VC Radiance LP stove which is quite expensive to run with the current gas prices. Two days ago I was walking by the stove and saw the temp. gauge I have on the flue was at 700-750 degrees. Normally it should never get higher than 500 degrees when I set the stove on high. I immediately turned the stove down and even on the low setting it didn't get below 500 degrees until the wood burned down. The walls around the stove were also getting quite hot and I stayed around and babysat the stove until it cooled off sufficiently. The stove didn't appear to overfire and get red but I've never had it up to 700 degrees. Today I went into the stove and checked all the gaskets and seals around the door and ash pan. I also adjusted the door handles to make sure they were tight enough. I didn't see any problems and fired the stove up again with a load of wood and got it up to temperature. I then watched the stove and it again went up to 700-750 degrees with the cat engaged. I lowered the temp and let the stove burn down. So now I have this stove and it is having some problems. I don't know if the thermostat is going bad, if there is another air leak, etc. I intend to call the dealer to get some service (hopefully) under warranty. Perhaps someone here has other things for me to check? So I'm looking for options here. I intend to get the stove repaired in any case, but I'm looking now at other stove options. Am I out of my gourd or doing this? Should I just get this stove fixed considering it is just 2-3 years old? Is this thing going to even hold up for someone burning about four cords of wood a year? Well I may get rid of it. If I do replace it here are my desires in the new stove: - Big enough to heat a 3300 sq. ft. house with two floors - Must be able to handle heavy use in winter in a temperate Pacific NW climate - Long burn times - Top loading a plus - Catalytic or Non-Catalytic doesn't matter - Needs to have good build quality - Steel or Cast Iron or maybe soapstone (don't know much about soapstone) - Needs to work as free-standing The VC stove has the thermostatic control which I thought was a good thing until this latest episode. Perhaps a manual damper will be less prone to having problems? What are the advantges/disadvantages of the thermostat and is it worth looking for this feature? So what are the other long-burning reliable stoves out there? Thanks for any input you may have. EDIT: My stove is now fixed. Just replaced the gaskets in the door, ash pan and stove top and it's good as new. Cost about $30 total and about one hour of my time. I'm going to make it an annual maintenance ritual just to be safe. I've learned to love the thermostat and it works reliably. The stove burns 12+ hours easily overnight and has plenty of hot coals in the bottom to re-start the next load. Just wanted to add this addendum to my message because my original post seemed too negative on this stove and it shouldn't have been.