Don't hold my bottom pour electric furnace against me. I started casting bullets in the 1960s with a Lyman cast iron pot over a Coleman stove and a Lyman ladle. I made many thousands of bullets that way for maybe twenty years or so. I hate to use words like "love" on a forum such as this, but, when I finally had the money to get a Lyman electric furnace with the bottom pour, I have to admit that I fell in love with it. I do not regret all my years with the pot and ladle, but the big furnace and bottom pour spout sure do make the casting process a lot easier. I would not, however, tell anyone they should start out with an electric furnace - that is a big expense if you find you do not like bullet casting. An old fashioned pot and ladle is still the best way to make one's start in casting if money is a concern. I may prefer my electric furnace, but I could still go back to the old fashioned pot and ladle over the Coleman stove if the electricity ever goes out. I can make excellent bullets either way.
The one thing I do not understand is how folks get good results from cast bullets without the use of a sizer/lubing machine like Lyman or RCBS. I know folks lube unsized bullets in a pan filled with melted lube and then cut them out with a "cookie cutter," but that just does not seem either effective or worth the effort. I especially prefer gas checked bullets for use with rifles, and a lube/sizing machine makes it a lot easier to lube, size, and apply a gas check in a quick operation. The sizer also allows one to get a range of sizes from one type of cast bullet.
If I had to make a choice between buying a furnace or a lube/sizer, I would definately get a lube/sizer first. For me, I cannot imagine making cast bullets without one, but I know I could still cast with my old pot.