This is my first yr, I burned maybe 3-1/8 ton so far this yr, started in early October, heating 3500 ft^2, newer 1996 house w/ 2x6 construction. My VF3000 is in a detached well insulated out building, doing DHW as well to an indirect 80 gal tank. I bought 6.5 ton for the yr so I expect to easily make it through, probably will burn all summer too, unless I get ambitious and install a solar hot H2O heater. What a difference from last winter, moved in Dec of 09 and burned 700 gal of heating oil to keep the house at 60, now we keep it at 70 and took our electric bill from $200/month to $120/ month (had electric DHW prior). Many thanks for the people on this forum for all the great free information, people at work thought I was crazy 6 months ago when I was hand digging my 4' trench, now folks I don't ever really talk to are coming to my desk asking me about coal boilers, I imagine once fuel oil goes > $4 I will get lots more ?'s.
Not sure if anyone here reads popular mechanics, but last month's edition had a big article on alternate heating methods......coal didn't even get a mention, kind of crazy the stereotypes that are out there about it.