Ok, so I got the stove running good last night! What I did different is that I added a lot more small wood chips, and split some of the logs, then I lit it and tended to it with the door open about 2 inches for about an hour, hour and a half. Closing the door before waiting would have killed the fire. After tending and adding a couple more logs for the first 1.5 hours the stove got hot enough and I was able to close the door! After that point, when the stove got very hot, I did see a difference in the flames when I would slide the intake control left and right. A good few hours into it and I could slide it all the way to the right (closed) and the fire was going strong. So maybe it is the wood being too moist, causing it to take a long time to get up to high enough temperature. The intake control just doesn't do much at all until the stove gets up to temperature. After talking with others, it seems that some stoves really require you to keep the door ajar for a good amount of time (even with well seasoned wood) until the fire gets going strong enough to close it and control it with the intake control. The manual of the Montpelier says to never operate with the door open, and seems to imply you can just light it and close the door in a couple minutes and be fine. I'm thinking this is just a stretch, and not quite realistic. So bottom line is, my wood probably isn't very well seasoned, the stove intake control only really makes a difference when the fire really gets going, and this stove requires some time to get going which necessitates leaving the door ajar 1"-2" for a while. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and input! Hopefully this thread will help someone else out who buys the Montpelier. P.S. The fan works very well, but is a bit loud when on full. But you can adjust the speed to a lower setting and it is not too bad, and you can turn it off all together if you just want the fire for ambiance.