Reliable stove when you need it.
4:30 (1L of water)
The MSR PocketRocket couldn't have a better name – it's ultra-lightweight and compact, yet powerful enough to quickly boil water in a pinch. With excellent flame control, the PocketRocket gives you the freedom to actually cook real meals in the backcountry (say adios freeze-dried meals!). The only drawback with this stove is the absence of an automatic ignition and limitations with larger pots and pans – however, for the price you can't beat it.
Need cookware, too? Check out the MSRPocketRocket Stove Kit ($100), which includes all the pots, bowls, cups, and utensils you need for two hikers PLUS the original PocketRocket burner, which all nests neatly into a 2L pot.
UPDATE: MSR recently released the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe ($70), which has improved fuel efficiency, better performance in windy conditions, and an automatic ignition.