I guess there is something to be said for "dumbing down" a stove so that it works in most situations. This has always been an example set by the auto industry - notice that you can get into almost any car made, and operate it immediately! VC has always been about engineering and the founder (long gone) was all about quality. But one thing they never did was to follow the crowd as far as stove design....and, who knows, maybe they should have! I really doubt that the basic premise is flawed - I used an Acclaim for years and it worked very well. But perhaps what is flawed is the tuning of the system so "tightly" in an attempt to get "bragging rights" for low GPH numbers. That is just a guess, of course. I spoke to two different 30 year Hearth industry veterans who told me this might be the case. One said that the reason the Encore NC has such low numbers is that VC tested it with the max. burn at 27,000 BTU. If they tested with the max burn at a higher number (35K, for instance) the GPH would have been much higher. Another friend who sat in the test lab of a competing model said that they got VERY low numbers on their stove, but found that this hurt the burning of the particular model when actual firewood (as opposed to EPA fuel) was used. So they added a bunch of air at other various places, which doubled their GPH (and still way under the limits). As we are perhaps seeing here, EPA GPH is not always the key to shopping for a stove. All that said, it is hard to imagine that 95% of these stoves are not working well. Problems tend to find us here at Hearth.com. I think we will have to wait awhile before the verdict comes in. Not to ramble on too far, but this reminds me of a conversation I had at a party with some of the scientists at Corning Glass, the inventors of the woodstove catalytic converter. We were discussing performance of these models, and the Corning lady said something like "Ideally, there would be a mechanism to level out the draft on all chimneys so it would fall in a (perfect) range - this would greatly enhance performance and ease of operation" (my paraphrase)......But I think that is what we see here sometimes.....and why I would suggest a barometric or turn damper for anyone who suspects over draft. One problem complicates another one - and the lining/insulating of chimneys has probably caused a lot of them to be TOO strong.