Welcome to the forum.
I do not have an mpd on mine,i don't believe in using one for a coal stove,however,i will not argue with those who have their mind set on an mpd on their stove. An mpd on someone else's stove will not affect me,so why should i worry about it.?? If using an mpd & baro,always install the mpd between the stove & the baro.
The 2 brands of coal you mentioned are both good. I bought my coal from Gale Mining Company in Ginther,Pa. have burnt about 18 ton or so,am very happy with the price,the way it burns,it is clean coal & i like dealing with the forum member who owns the company . He is fifthg,the 5th generation owner of this family run company.
You say you are looking at both rice & nut,what will you be burning the 2 different sizes in ?