So I purchased a Midwest 500 a few years back, this is my forth winter on it. I did have some issues with it. Mine has a smoke baffle that runs along the top, well in the first season that baffle warped and popped two of the welds. I called Craig no less than 100 times, trying to get it straightened out. His solution was to hire a local welder and he would send me a check, haha, right. I had a friend come over and he welded it back up. So now we are into season 2 and the welds on the other side popped and I nursed it through the winter. So over the summer I had a buddy build a baffle and another buddy weld it in. This time we made it out of 1/4 steel and made the tabs that weld to the fire box larger. We also added a front trap door on the baffle to clean out ash, a design flaw that Midwest did not originally do. Season three, I started to think that the ash was laying in the baffle and super insulating it and that's why it was warping, not to mention how much better it drafts when all cleaned out. I thought I was out of the woods with all this, nope welds popped again. Season four, well the summer before, it me, design flaw number two. The firebox and smoke baffle cannot not be solidly attached to each other. The expansion from heat is just enough to keep popping welds. So we welded tabs to the firebox and then hung the baffle to those with pins so it can all float about 3/16 of an inch. I also had to add a 3/16 plate to the door because the firebox side of that was starting to warp. Now I have water disappearing. The last three years I don't think I put five gallons in it over the winter heating seasons. Now I put 7-8 a month in, I can't believe that this is the year of mega evaporation!! I know it is not leaking at our weld points because I would see it. The first three seasons I kept calling Craig during all this and got no where. Finally I got resolution only I filed with the state and they started an investigation. So last year I got a check for $200 to cover the baffle materials and such. I am going to have to investigate this water issue in the spring, I have a hunch it's leaking like the others. I kinda drew the conclusion that I was on my own with this stove by year two. I guess the only good thing with all this is that all the pieces parts can be bought at grainger. Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know, we can even chat by phone. I feel that there should be some form of restitution paid.