I am not a rookie with woodstoves, I have owned 5. The Intrepid was in the house I bought a few years ago, the local woodstove suggested a new flue liner, I did that for over $1,000.
The fact is this woodstove and I am sure all of this model just plain suck. The books says 4.5 hour burn time, sure if you are not getting any heat out of it and yes I use dry (seasoned) hard wood (mostly red oak). Say hello to slick marketing and the work "Vermont" in the name of a woodstove. Superior to this piece of *** are Russo (out of business) Temp Wood (out of business), Fisher (out of business) and onither one I got out of the want advertiser years ago.
Don't believe the Vermont Castings hype. They suck!