Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gulf Islands, BC, Canada.
Lots of great suggestions here.
I upgraded my Coleman Peak (beast) to a Snowpeak Gigapower stove that I bought at MEC for about $40 about four years ago. It's light, really compact and has performed well at altitude in winter conditions (-15C). In summer, don't even worry about it.
For the longest time, my big issue was the lack of recycling facilities for the canister stoves. Those canisters were always a hotly debated topic on trips. While the debate simmers on, I think people have warmed to prospect of canister stoves to a considerable degree.
While on a trip in Japan in 2009, I stayed at a hostel with a dedicated recycling container for used canisters. These stoves are the norm among hikers and mountaineers in Japan and Korea - the land of LNG. Disposal facilities exist and people use them. By punching a hole in the base, one can easily crush the empty canister for easy transport. Do not attempt to crush against forehead. These are considerably stronger than your average beer can.
When I got back to BC I realized my local recycle depot accepts the crushed cartridges as they would any old tin of beans or kippered herring fillets. I'm still using more resources than with my old stove but the cost hasn't been prohibitive for my situation. Since making the switch, I've also discovered a way to refill the canisters with cheaper isobutane canisters that you can get from your local building supply shop. The adapter is available from a company in Taiwan for 10 bucks. Never tried it.