Esbit is slightly better for heat content than alky. Theooorteically it can be better. But, that soot means you do not burn all the available fuel cleanly, soo it is about the same. It packages a bit better, carries easier and requires little in the way of stoves. The gram cracker works fine. On the down side, it is smelly and coats the bottom of the pot with a sticky soot that does not wash off easily. I am *not* Mr. Clean, but adding to the normal hiking grime doesn't seem like a good idea, though, it takes a couple days to build up enough to start getting soot around.
Hell, why even use a stove? A wood fire works well...again, sooty. And in some places illegal or not available.
WG is my choice. I carry a 17oz stove, that gets between .25 and .35 oz per liter. It burns clean. I use a bit of alky to prime it to cut down on soot. An old water bottle, recycled for use as a fuel cell, easily packs. A cap with a piece of tubing epoxied in makes a great refill kit. Mostly, I never spill any. On low, it burns a couple hours on 4oz. Enough to do 12L. Not exactly ultra light, but really efficient for long 2-6 week unsupported trips.
You can burn parafin. This is also easy to pack. It makes a good stove, but burns sooty. Again, it looses efficiency.
I have tried a LOT of burnable fuels: Xylene, acetone, unleaded, alcohols, parafins, bees wax, vasalene, deisel, kerosene, motor oil...probably a few I have forgotten at the moment. 'Corse, I have been at it for better than 40 years.
I prefer two fuels: Alky and WG. You *can* blend the two to about 10%. This has the effect of burning much hotter in an alky stove (10%WG/90% alky.) But it burns sooty. Some of the additional fuel heat from the WG is wasted in soot, but I can get ~.4oz
per pint. Not worth carrying it generally. Even if it does have higher fuel heat.
Anyway, The divide for taking alky and WG (or canister) for me is between 3-5 days. It sort'a depends on if I will be doing any fishing and extra cooking...mustard greens, fried dandelions, trout & corn bread, etc... Alky is not the best for cooking on. If I am peak bagging, it always goes. If I am out canoing, never. Like everything else in the pack, it depends on what I am planing that week.