Buying a nice wood stove is key, I grew up with and old buck stove insert that required lots of work.
My wife and I purchased a vermont castings free standing in our new house. Its a way better experience. It has no blower but does fine for our mostly open house. We did put the HVAC intake directly above it to compenstate for the lack of a fan, however I mostly use that to help cool the primary room if we let it get too hot. The downside for it to me is the weather we have right now of 30s-40s at night and 60s-70 during the day. Its hard to jusify starting it each night.