Sometimes it helps to step outside the hardware store aisle.
Stakes: Lawson ti hook. Lawson claims that curve does not twist, and, having seen no twist whatsoever so far anywhere on any ground type, I have to say he's probably right. These have been modified by sharpening them slightly, or making the tips more conical to be more accurate. The better to penetrate very tightly packed rocky soil. By the way, filing these tips down showed me how seriously hard the titanium he uses is. My files could barely get the material off, took a long time per stake.
Wandering around flea market, saw someone selling bright fluorescent nail polish, $1 a bottle, thought, hmm, that should work.
To prep, I sanded the tops, then applied two coats, let dry over warm heat source 24 hours, applied two more, cured more time. Can't remember if I did two more ontop of that, but you can basically see when you have enough coats because the color is not showing the ti coloration underneath.
That color showed up like a spotlight on the forest floor, but so would any fluorescent color I suspect.
As for what stakes, if you go to an impacted campsite, say, Point Reyes or some at Big sur, you know the type, hard ground, somewhat rocky, you will probably never get in an aluminum Y stake, you need a narrow one that can slip between the rocks. I've never seen any circumstance so far where stakes like the above were not totally fine (barring of course uncompacted sand or snow), but I've only backpacked in certain types of terrain.
The Lawson stakes were great on recent trip to Cascades, camping on forest duff each night, deep, plenty long, and easy to push in, easy to get around rocks in ground too, or tight roots.
Obviously not good for sand or snow, but that's self evident. Of course you have to use them right, angled in towards tent body, and all that.
Of the above styles of stakes, the ones I would be least likely to take are the bonded easton tubes, the kind tarptent for example ships, not into a head coming off, want a one piece stake.