I have had some long discussion about this with a friend of mine who did the PCT a few years ago. He used Esbit for fuel. He said that during the trip, and talking with other hikers, that alcohol is the mostly widely available fuel, and that is what he wished he had used.
I did a lot of long distance hiking years ago, and cooked over campfires, which is inefficient and often not acceptable these days. Then in the early 70's I saw a Svea 123 (I did not know there was such a thing as a hiking stove at the time). For the next few years I used the Svea or MSR stoves, because fuel was readily available. In those days most Standard and Chevron gas stations sold bulk Blazo fuel, and they would fill up your bottle for pennies.
Unless I knew I could rely on obtain cannister fuel, or could mail it ahead, I would go for alcohol. To be honest, I am not worried about dangerous fumes, as we cook outside most of the time.