Question: One more quick question. Assuming money isn't an object: is there any advantage in terms of durability or service life between soapstone and cast iron? I want the longest stove life for my money. What about serviceability or maintenance requirements? Answer: Soapstone stoves are actually made of mostly cast-iron with the soapstone panels inserted into them. These stoves should last for many year - with proper use and service. As far as maintenance, the more parts something has, the more prone it is to one point of failure. The simplest stove can often be the one that requires the least service, just as a car without power windows and all the goodies is less likely to have small mechanical problems. That doesn't mean that we all should drive around in Neons with roll-up windows, although I do have roll-ups in my van!