I love my cookstove. One of the reasons I can't imagine moving back to the city is that I'd have to leave it behind. That might break my heart.
Being a lazy person, I strongly approve of anything that accomplishes several objectives with one amount of work. I chop wood once. That same wood, via the stove, heats my house, fuels my cooking, dries my clothes, heats my water, makes my toast, dehydrates food for storage. I can slow-cook a stew or a roast, or do my canning, with no extra energy. How can you improve on that?
The first cookstove we had was one we bought for $75. It was an old, worn-out Enterprise brand, with a warming oven. We used it for several years when we first moved here. I liked the way we could have so many things on the stovetop at once, and it served us well, but it was so "leaky" that the fire was always either going full-out or just going out.
The firebox was so small that we had to cut the wood into tiny pieces and stoke it often, and it wouldn't hold a fire for even half the night. The house was cold by morning and during the winter months we needed to keep a second stove burning in the basement.
We finally wore that stove out completely and bought another used one. It was a much plainer model, with no warming oven. Being in better shape, it was more easily controlled, but basically still had the same problems. One advantage to having these two old stoves was that they taught me to judge my wood well. I had to know which kinds of wood burned hot, or burned for a long time, because it took finesse to get the oven to the right temperature or keep the house warm for as long as possible while we were in town or asleep.
Our current stove is everything those first two were not. It is an Amish-made model from Ontario. We bought it brand-new four years ago, for about $1200. It's that marvel of technology: an airtight cookstove. It has a nice, big firebox and also a big oven. The heat is easy to control. It holds a fire ovenight with no problem at all. Our house is always warm. We still need a stove in the basement to keep things from freezing down there, only when the temperature drops below -20. I'm looking forward to many happy years with this one.