Having the stoker is great for oddball schedules- fill hopper, empty pan daily-ish or so. Before getting my Mag, I either had to phone home and convince the missus to clean the fire and add coal in my old stove when I'd be back late, or dump out and restart a cold stove when she wouldn't (but she does cook
). 8-10 hours was a miracle before, 24-36 is normal now. Fired up for the season in late October this year, only lost it once during a power outage since then.
I also bought mine used, and a good once-over like LSFarm suggests should quickly reveal any problems- it's very easy to see into the guts, so any "red-flags" should jump out at you. For $450, even needing a set of grates or new door gaskets is a decent deal.
The biggest difference for us was, getting used to the stove making noise (blower motor, occassional crunch of coal in the stoker, ash coming off the grate into the pan) as opposed to the silent hand-fed. But now, it's just like any other house noise, not even the cats notice it, and they're usually parked right in front of the stove!