I'm brand new to smithing a couple of years in and ive gotta weigh in. I heard somewhere that if you build every tool you ever need when your done with that you should have the skills to do what you need to. So I did, I built my forge and burners based on what people here were willing to share. sounds like theirs a couple of more experienced smiths here and theyve definitely got their opinions some more accepting of clutter and some less.
but as far as anvilstands go, i started with a beat up old peter wright 256#. i had a nice block of hemlock which it wobbled about upon while i learned how little i knew about my new hobby. After a few days it became chained down with lag bolts, this was mainly done in an attempt to quiet the pain full ring. A few days after that the block was routered down to level on two sides and again chained down. Much more stable but still loud as heck. A couple of months later the anvil was siliconed onto the stump. This was the single most important development in my entire anvil stand evolution. Solid as heck 5 times more silent and that anvil is really on their, my drunk buddy's have tested this in their attempts to help clean up at the end of the night. Much to the shop floors dismay.
I recently acquired a 400# in great condition and in my haste to use it I bolted it onto another less level stump then the first. It was going to only be for the one night. That was months ago and the darn thing has stayed chained to the wobbly stump without me feeling any need to change it. Is it because it's larger and thus more stable or is it because I'm lazy and excited to see how much more metal i can move with cleaner edges. I don't know but what I can tell you is that the thing has done more work in the last couple of months then the one i spent 3 years owning (and at day at least of time perfecting its mounting.) Had I not spent this time messing about with my anvil I would have been further along in my forging experience. I think time managment is really a personal decision and should really be out side out another smiths judgment. I have less time then some and I would currently like to spend my time learning and forging right now.
I started reading this thread because I was thinking about which type of stand I wanted to build to have the best set up for the new anvil and after reading some of the perspectives shared I'm gonna let that beauty sit on the wobbly stump because right now I've seen theirs so many different types of stands and all of them seem functional enough to their makers that they are happy with what they have for now. I guess it's all about what your expectations are and most of us here have changed their set up when they found need to. I could spend today making a three leg metal stand and test it out, but I think I'll silicone her down and keep forging on. Everyone seems happy with what they've got and I guess I'm happy enough with what is that for now I'll let her buck.
Honestly though try the silicone I swear by it.