The main problem with relying on electric is...what would you do if there was a power cut in winter? You've got no other way to keep warm. Yes Gas or oil central heating systems would stop as well, but most people would have a back up system. But then we live in the back of beyond and get regular outages. Especially last winter when it snowed and snowed and the lights kept flickering until they went off for over 5hrs. Without the wood burner we would have been freezing!
We did this in our front room. When we moved in there was an ugly kind of 70's (don't think it was 70's but that type) gas fire. I really didn't like it. I saw an electric fire and surround that we liked and bought it.
It was pretty quick, easy and cheap for the gas man to cut off the gas supply and remove the fire. We just placed the electric fire in front of where the previous fire used to be.
I don't use the fire at all really as we rely more on the central heating, but I don't regret putting the fire in as I find it nice to look at.
We've got a gas fire in the living room and don't really use that either.