Question: I was shopping today for a gas stove to replace my wood stove (tired of the cutting). I was recommended the Vermont Castings Stardance model. My room is 15' x 23' with 12' ceiling. I spent the last hour reading all I can on ventless stoves on your site. The ventless stove will save me up to $500.00 bucks- the stove is cheaper than the direct vent and no chimney required. The shop did not have the same model of stove in vented and ventless so I could not compare the look of the flame. I see their brochures list steel tubes for burners in ventless and a "matrix" burner for vented so there must be a different look. what about cost of operation? Answer: I've written some articles on ventless stoves- but I'm not an expert. .Having disqualified myself- here's my take:Vermont Castings makes gorgeous- wonderful products. They are also more expensive than the competition. As always- you need to balance your pocketbook- your aesthetic preferences and the application.I think a direct vent fire has a fuller- more active flame- but this is subjective. The burner material difference is inconsequential.The big question is whether a ventless stove is for you. That's a relatively large room (which is good)- but I don't know how open it is to the rest of the house- what the insulation factor is- or even what region of the country you are in.I am more enthused about lower BTU input ventless stoves (such as the VC) rather than the 40-000 BTU monstrosities. Still- I would spend an hour or two around one that is operating to insure that you are not sensitive to them. Some people complain or headaches- irritated eyes- or the smell- whereas others have no objections.Cost of operation is a function of efficiency. On the surface- the "99.9% efficient" ventless stove is the cheaper to run. However- the true cost is a complex formula that factors in the rate of air exchange- outside temperature and other variables.My guess is the ventless would be slightly cheaper to operate- but both are relatively efficient producers of heat. Just be sure and amortize your costs over ten years. Bottom line: Ask lots of questions of lots of people. Find a dealer you are comfortable with. Rely on their expertise- and pay a slight premium for them to make your life less complicated and more certain. Good luck.