lots of talk about efficiency. I have a woodstove installed and I have a force-air furnace. Burning the woodstove creates heat and causes the forced-air furnace to cycle less, which saves me money on my gas bill. As for efficient burning, I don't choke down my wood stove at all. Instead, I just put in an overnight load before I go to bed. In the morning, that sucker is still blowing hot air. Every BTU that wood stove puts out is a BTU I don't have to pay the gas company for. As for wood efficiency, It would take me three seasons to burn up all the wood I have here now. So I'm not too worried if I don't squeeze every ounce of heat out of those logs.
You mentioned having trouble starting your stove. I go to job sites and take UNTREATED lumber out of their dumpsters. Then I take it home and split it into kindling (but you dont have to split it). The cut/waste lumber from construction is GREAT starter wood. It lights easily and burns hot. That wood was headed towards the landfill anyways. Better to use it I say. Most of the contractors are happy to see you take it. They pay by the ton when they dump their job waste. So if you make several trips to one dumpster, you can easily squirrel away several tons of lumber. (my favorite pieces are the scrap ends from 2x12s
You can also use your woodstove to produce biochar at the same time you're enjoying the heat. But that's another subject I reckon