Here is my story... I currently have a Vermont Castings stove vented to a 6"stainless liner inside an old clay liner. The stove requires an 8" so it does not always operate as I would like and being pre EPA it eats wood. I am looking into a new stove but my current set up calls for a rear vent as the flue comes in from an old fireplace. Here are the options and opinions I discussed with my local stove store (dealing in Lopi and Avalon). I have been thinking of changing to a top vent stove as there are more options and many of the steel ones are cheaper and some opinions say more rugged. 1) Open up the brick above where the stove currently is, install a TEE to come through the brick so that I might then use a top vent stove. Rough estimate $700 labor if it is a 2 person 6 hour day + $500 parts = $1200. THEN buy another stove. They are of course trying to sell me a new one but I would look around for something used first. 2) Put an insert in. My house is 2000sqft (700 basement & 1300 upstairs) heating primarily with wood in Central New York state. It is an open floor plan, ranch, stove in the finished basement with a grate in the floor above the current stove for hot air to move up. Built in 1972 seems reasonably insulated, new windows and doors. I currently burn 4.5 to 5 cord a year and would like to do less=). I will also add that I am away from home for about 10hrs a day and am getting sick of restarting every evening so a longer burn time would be great! I would LOVE all opinions and ideas on my options including models of stoves/inserts, stove vs insert and why ect... thanks in advance!