I guess I have 3 setups that I will go back and forth on...technically I have a good number more, but that begins sounds like a problem...so lets just call it 3.
-caldera cone with 550 ti pot (one with handles)
-home made V8 can side burner with foil windscreen and heiny pot
-ti wing esbit stove, trapper mug, foil windscreen, and homemade tin lid
As far as pure function it is darn hard to compete with the caldera. Especially in wind this stove just works great. It is more efficient on fuel than any I have used. It is stable, it is easy to light, etc. You have it that the downfall it that darn cone. I have not explored the side winder version, mainly because I dont want a bigger pot. I don't put my cone in the caddy I just roll it up and toss it in a side pocket of my pack. Its bent up but it still works fine.
So why the others.... the homemade V8 + heiny pot is one light setup. I also like using gear I have made, but I will concede the the caldera is more efficient and easier to use.
As far as the esbit stove this has more of an experiment lately with interesting results. I have found that I do prefer using a tab instead of carrying a fuel bottle. The .5 oz tab have enough fuel to be 1.5+ cups of water everytime. The ti wing weighs next to nothing. If a pinch I have shaved off the edge of a tab, used to to start a fire, and had enough for fuel for my meal. It is a rather simple and elegant system.
I do have a GVP Caldera F w/esbit that I haven't used yet. My main concern is the fosters can not using the caddy. I refuse to use the caddy, it weighs too much. You post confirms that the Fosters can can get pretty banged up.
I also have a SP Litemax canister stove with a 750 Backcountry Ti mug. That I let others use. I have never used it myself, but I have to admit it is easy and fast. I just dont like the canisters. Big, heavy, bad for the environment.
So not sure if that helps. But that is what I use.