Berlin wrote:good eastern KY bit will burn easier, longer and with more heat and less ash than anthracite. good bituminous coal won't produce clinkers so that's really a non-issue, and KY coal is "free-burning" so it doesn't bridge or melt in the firebox. try it out, you'll probably love it, many people I know have actually switched from anthracite to good eastern KY bit coal at similar and even higher prices.
Berlin, I never would have imagined it, but you are quite right about the high price for KY coal. I just found out that 'Church Coal Firewood, & Mulch' in Akron, Ohio (couldn't be more than 15-20 miles from me) has what they call "Kentucky Lump Coal" (no clue what that means) at $200 per ton. I discovered this by listening to their recorded answering machine message just a short while ago. Per the same recorded message they also offer anthracite now, and at only $225 per ton. With the two prices being that close, I could actually go with either one.
A different source for local Ohio coal (referred to as "washed Stoker coal", whatever that means) is asking only $95/ton for that. Would it be a total mistake to consider this option?