I didn't read all your replies, and this is the first I saw your post. If it's redundant I apologize.
I'm running a Alaska Kodiak for the past 4 years, having had a Efel Kaminar prior to for 24 years. Both burn(ed) pea, both were hopper fed and both are/were low maintenance.
I shake the Kodiak 2x per day when it's running hard, and empty every other night. When it's 50ish outside, I shake it once per day and empty it every 3 days.
The Kodiak idles so low that you have to stare into it to see glowing coals below the raw coal. Stack temp is usually 100-150 degrees w/a MPD closed all the way. I have a baro above it, and the Kodiak really is a joy to use. It is a perfect stove for those who don't like to fuss, I can't stress how trouble-free it is to use. It is very forgiving. Somehow when shaking, air blows over the window minimizing the ash on the window. I clean the window once/month with Rutland cleaner, and honestly it stays clean and clear. The firebox is square, the shaker grate is round so I find I can also throttle the amount of heat by 'to poke or not to poke' the corners.
I've found that since I added heatsinks to the side and have a box fan behind it, I am sending more heat into the room and less up the chimney.
I don't have the Alaska brand fan as it's noisy and located in our main family room, but instead I have the box fan blowing slowly (and quietly) into a plenum I made to direct the air into the rear inlet. At bedtime I turn it up since noise isn't a factor, and it increases the heat exiting the front.
I bought the Alaska because it is American Made and simple and clean in design. Easy to use, minimal dust on shaking and the large hopper opening makes it easy to fill.