If you look at the picture in the banner, that is a good hot fire (maybe even a little too hot)! Mine will look close to that before I fill it all the way up for the night.
After you get it going, the coal bed should be as deep as the firebrick. Some dancing blue flames on top of the coal bed are what you want to see after loading.
Richard had a thread a while back asking for pictures so he could choose the best on for the banner. That thread is probably out there somewhere yet. I'll edit in a link if I find it.
Found it....here's the linkCoal Photo Competition