Now all that applied to a wood burning cook stove and a manual percolator so you'll have to use your own judgement as to how to handle that on a modern cook top. A gas stove would likely be pretty east as to adjusting the heat downward. The important point is, you don't want the water to ever reach the boiling point. I think that's an acquired skill that may take some time to master. It'll percolate well below 212° so try to keep it around 180°.
The easiest way is to buy an electric percolator and let the built in thermostat do the work for you. They usually stop the percolating in about 2 minutes via a thermostat and never boil. Then it goes into holding mode and keep the finished coffee at serving temperature. That works fine if you like the way it turns out since you have no control over the process. Automatic stuff is always great, if it works!
I can't guarantee the perked coffee is any better or worse than the drip kind since I threw my electric percolator away many years ago when the heater element failed. If I remember correctly, my first impression of the Mr. Coffee drip machine was that the coffee was a little on the weak side and not quite hot enough. I guess I just got over that and accepted it and moved on. I think it's one of those things you'll have to try for yourself.
One think for sure, if you choose a manual model of percolator, you have more control over the process than the automatic devices give. Some folks claim you can manually perk coffee that is less bitter while others say they perk it longer and even boil it since they like the bitter taste. I suppose it's all in what you get used to or maybe however your mama made it is how you like it. On that note, I recall going home with some schools chums back in grade school and eating supper a time or two with some of them. They always bragged up their mother's cooking but I usually didn't share their opinion and sometimes had trouble explaining why I didn't clean up my plate very well. There's no accounting for taste.