In addition to my electric kiln experience, I have had the pleasure of firing several gas and atmospheric kilns at several different studios. While electric kilns have their own little quirks, fuel kilns really have a personality. We potters like to talk about kiln gods and how they choose to bless or curse our firings. I believe that this is because each fuel kiln really behaves differently from other kilns that are built just like it. For example, the gas kiln at the recreation center was built by the same man, following a very similar plan, as the kiln we have at the community college. The former, perhaps because she is younger and hasn't been fired as much, could be unpredictable and temperamental, much like a young woman. The latter I tend to think of as kind, gentle older lady because she was so reliable*. Our wood kiln at the college behaves like a cantankerous old woman, but she just purrs for one of our male students. As for me, she and I have had our spats over the years, but I think we mostly understand each other now. Mostly.
I think it is this difference in personality that makes firing fuel kilns so interesting, even if it is a lot more work than just inputting a firing program into a kiln, pressing a button, and walking away. And, of course, unloading a kiln is always like Christmas because you never know exactly what you're going to get.
*In my experience, most kilns are female, perhaps because of Pele the fire goddess. I am aware of at least one male kiln, though I have almost no experience firing that one.
P.S. I currently have two pieces up at the Mountain Standard Clay show at the Foothills Art Center in Golden. If you are in the Denver area, please stop by and see this wonderful show.