While most indoor fireplaces obviously can't be built 'dry laid', an outdoor fireplace can actually incorporate dry stone elements into much of the design. As long as the fire box and and smoke channel is well sealed using mortar and masonry bricks and clay flues it will work well. However with proper attention to a close fitting of the stones and brickwork, (to ensure that the smoke travels out through the chimney the way it should) the entire fireplace presumably could be dry laid. If the work is carefully done and the design is not too 'Fred Flintstoney' the result can be quite stunning.
The fireplace we completed recently in Ontario is looking pretty sweet. Up until now we have only done more open concept campfire-type fireplaces - ones with circular dry stone seating areas. We were quite happy with the results of this free-standing 'Rumford' type and how close it looked to the original Sketchup design.
There is an appealing curved space created by the outer side walls of the structure that facilitates a cozy sitting area. The height of the walls gives some protection from the west wind. The structure sits at a high point on about 20 acres, overlooking a green valley with hills running further to the north. It took about 25 tonnes of material. Our hope is to build a smaller version of this one during the four days of Rocktoberfest this October in Landon Bay Park, near the famous 1000 Islands vacation area in Ontario. If you are interested in helping on this festival project please let us know.