I am in the market for a new mountaineering stove. My climbing partner has a MSR Reactor that he really likes and to be honest I really like it too. I am torn between a gas canister stove like the MSR Reactor and the Jetboil PCS and a liquid fuel stove like the MSR XGK or Whisperlite Intl.
I like the canister systems like the MSR Reactor and Jetboil because they are so incredibly convenient and compact. With either of them you have a nice little system that you turn on and forget about it. There is no priming or flair up or nasty smoke. The major downside is that the colder it is the less they work since as it gets colder the pressure in the canister decreases. I should mention that canister stoves work better at altitude because the air pressure at altitude is less.
Liquid fuel stoves are nice because the good ones can burn just about anything and they don’t perform worse in cold weather. The downside is they are more complicated, can gunk up, flair up and are a little bit more difficult to work with. But if you need a no bullshit stove that just works, then a liquid stove may be for you.
I am going to continue to do research on individual stoves and will let you know what I find.