I've got one. It's hooked into a 16' SS chimney and 6 ft of vertical stove pipe. I've got plenty of draft but every instalation is different.
Search for my posts for some more conversations about this stove. I'm on my seventh heating season. I have replaced bricks and the grill. The first grill, replaced after 7 seasons ($65)was still usable but was hurting for appearance. Did the bicks after 5 yrs. Don't be concerned about the bad comments as they are usually referring to the older designs. The newest model is the Vigilant II 2310, coal only - so the mfg says(EPA rating). The older models do fine too. It's like anything, you need to learn it to operate it well. If it's an older model, multi-fuel with a hopper, search for member rewinder 's posts. He's got it down. I've had VC cast iron stoves for nearly 30 years total and have not had a problem with either of the two I've had. I've alway broken them in with successively hotter fires so the assembly can stretch out over the progressively bigger expansion/contraction cycles. Cast iron has the highest resistance to heat but is brittle and has to be assembled in pieces. Never disassembled them but do clean'em out at the end of the season. It's easy and takes maybe a 1/2 hour.
Heats fine. I use it for my main heat in a 10 yr old 3,100 sq ft frame house. It isn't the largest output rated at 50,000 BTU/hr. The Hitzer referred to earlier is at lest 1.5X more BTUs so it's not comparing apples to apples. 2310 does the entire job until in my house 'til it falls into the low 20's and lower at night. Then the oil furnace, T-stat @ 68, makes up the dif by running 1- 3 times/hr for 3 minutes each time(I've heated solely with the coal stove down to 2 but I was pushing it). I'm still on the same tank filled 10/07. Once the sun is up, it heats the whole house in the low teens. After the Koker is hooked in, oil will be used only for winter vacations. I run the stove 600-700 degrees measured on the stove top and get 12- 15 hr burns with Reading pea. Just did a short 1+ day burn with 80Lbs Superior nut and got longer burn times w/less air. Air inlet is thermostatically regulated so it keeps the temperature steady even if the weather swings when you're away. Edges do build up with ash as do many stoves with square or rectangular fire boxes. I carefully rod horizontally below the lowest grill into the ash below the fire an push the ash down and thru the grates. Doesn't make a big mess if you take your time. Don't be afraid to thoroughly shake it. You have to really to try drop the fire. I usually pull the lever 50 - 75 times to get all the powder down after a 12 -15 hr burn. The grate configuration isn't a rocking bar, it's a series of winged "W"s hanging from front to back. They raise and lower and simultaneously fore and aft. I've had a single grate come off twice in seven years, mainly because I was pulling at the lever too hard and fast. Smooth even strokes, no problem. Clinkers do not lock them up as they might in pivoting designs. Just pull the plate off the front of the grates, with the fire going, and slice in between them if you need to. Careful attention to burn temperature swings and you won't have clinker problem.
If you'd like to, check out the videos I've done, They're linked below my sig block. They're crude and amateurish - done quickly- but you get the point.