We are looking to purchase a cast iron wood stove for our barn home. We are looking at a new Vermont Castings Defiant but I have read through a number of posts and do not see a lot of love for this brand. We currently have a Vermont Castings Encore and have been extremely happy with it. And the only part we have had to replace in the 10 years we have had it is the front door gasket. We like the top load feature and the stainless steel plate. We will unfortunately be an all-electric home so we are looking to this stove to help offset having to use electric heat and as a possible backup cooking option if the electricity goes out. We are in Indiana so it has the potential to get extremely cold. We had also looked at the Hearthstone Manchester but it doesn't seem to be a good option for cooking on top. I welcome the advice of those with more experience. We want to stick with a matte black cast iron stove.