After using an MSR Whisperlite International for nearly 15 years (and it still works just fine) I purchased a JetBoil 3 years ago and that old, dependable MSR is now gathering dust on a shelf in my garage. The JetBoil is just so quick and easy to set up and get going.
Pros : Quick and easy to setup, rapid boiling times, stable, gas tanks are easy to find in many different stores
Cons : I understand the new models may have improved, but it's hard to keep anything at a summer or cook something gently over low heat, bulky, cannot refill spare gas tanks.
I've enjoyed switching over to freeze dried foods on backpacking trips and on car camping trips, the JetBoil allows me to make the quickest coffee in the campgrounds (pouring the water into a French press vs. the JetBoil press attachment which I also own).
The freeze dried food is great for those backpacking trips where you do t want to spend a whole lot of time preparing your meals.
I love mine.
Its quick and easy enough to use that I will cook, versus living off of pop tarts, beef jerky and PBR.
And its compact enough to always bring along, which has saved the day after a cold weather dunking or drenching.
I've actually been waiting for the weather to cool down so I can use mine for coffee along the rivers. It's a great little gadget. Also good for concerts; it was a nice thing to have at Sasquatch this year.
Anyone? Man: in my world it's everyone. Backpacking, fishing, even for picnics. Jetboil is the bomb. Having said that: I don't usually take it with me unless it's an overnighter. For day trips I use a tiny alcohol stove which is light, small, cheap and has no moving parts, piezo electric gizmos to fail, or gas canisters to buy. Often, I use the alcohol stove with the jetboil 'jug' since it seems to be so dang efficient at transfering heat. Anyway: jetboil is the gold standard in small cooking packages in my opinion.
Everything said about the Jetboil above…ditto. Great product. One word of warning- do not ever turn on the stove without something in the pot. The pot heats so efficiently that catastrophic meltdown happens quickly. I've seen some so bad that I wouldn't have wanted to be around to see it happen.
You might also want to check out the MSR Reactor. Very strong competition to the Jetboil with several outdoor mag rewards.
I almost bought a Jetboil, but instead I opted for the Snowpeak Gigapower (back in 2005).
I also bought a Primus 1.7 liter EtaPower cooking pot to go with it. The EtaPower pot is lightweight (anodized aluminum with a titanium non-stick coating on the inside) and has a heat-exchanger built into the bottom, which is supposed to decrease cooking time by approx 50%.
I also still use my old lightweight stainless steel backpacking cookware that I picked up back in the 80's.
I bought the larger size. thought it would be more flexible and I was not planning on using it for backpacking. Can not believe how fast it boils water. Good ad vise of making sure the pot has something in it, I could see that happening. In the larger size the way the burner fits in the stand seems backward (takes me a minute the first time or two). Also heats to hot to simmer anything. Overall love it.