So, I measured 2 cups of water very carefully, and did two trials for each data point and averaged them- all were consistent. I called water "boiling" when the temperature rose by 120F (because that gave me target temperatures around 180F, at which point bubbles were continually breaking the surface, but not a rolling boil). I did not use a lid on my pot, since it seemed to shift around, so I removed it from the equation. My pot is an Evernew wide 0.9L. My house is at almost 7000'.
On the charts below you see a line for the Starlyte stove with varying numbers of shims under them. 0 shims means that I shimmed the cone up to allow better ventilation, but also shimmed the stove up to keep it at "ground level" relative to the cone. -1 shims means that I did NOT shim the stove up, so it actually sat a little lower than the bottom of the cone. Each positive numbered shim is one layer of cardboard used to shim the Starlyte higher and higher, closer to the pot (4 shims is about 7/16"). 4 shims should have the stove well into the "sweet spot" that Dan derived.
So, as the x-axis moves to the right, the stove gets closer to the bottom of the pot.
You also see two single-data points; both represent the TD 12-10 stove. One is with the stove used as directed with tent stakes holding the pot high, and the other is with no stakes and thus with the pot supported on its lip (i.e. closer to the stove).
You can see that I got much different results than Dan. I don't know if this is due to the altitude or what.
The 12-10 stove used as directed (with the stakes holding the pot higher)has the best fuel consumption, and the worst boil time.
The Starlyte curve shows better boil times the FURTHER the pot is above the stove- unlike Dan's data. Altitude?
If I use the 12-10 after removing the stakes and let the pot sit on it's lip, as with a Classic Caldera Cone, it looks like fuel consumption may be similar to the Starlyte, and boil times improve significantly but are still inferior to the Starlyte.
(Just for grins, I also checked the 12-10 with the cone shimmed up for better ventilation and there was no significant difference in either boil times or fuel consumption.)
1) Really, the difference in fuel consumption across this range is very trivial, 0.34-0.41 oz. Even if we double that to allow for a higher volume of really cold water taken to a true rolling boil, we're talking 0.68-0.82 oz, a 0.14 oz range. It would take 3.5 days with two boils a day to cost you one measley ounce. Or, thinking of it another way, the difference costs you about 3 ounces over a 10-day trip. So, I think that other factors might be considered more important- burn time, packability, stove weight, etc. On these points (under my conditions) the Starlyte seems to win- it's faster and smaller, and weighs about the same as a 12-10, plus has the anti-spill capabilities.
2) I'm willing to bet that some data got scrambled on that fuel consumption curve for the Starlyte. I suspect that this function is somehow dependent on my starting and ending water temperatures, which varied from 51-172F to 64-184F. In theory it shouldn't be, but I'm trying to think of reasons to explain that double-hump. Well, really, I need to do about 20 trials at each data point to be rigorous, but that might be bordering on OCD. Anyway, I'll bet that in reality there is just an improvement in fuel consumption as boil time increases (within reasonable limits).
3) In general, given my conditions and pot choice, the Starlyte trades faster boiling times for higher fuel consumption, though lowering the pot onto the cone lips with the 12-10 stove lessens this effect.
4) With the 12-10 stove I can speed my boil times by about 1.5 minutes at the expense of 0.06 oz more fuel consumed, merely by not using the tent stakes to support the pot. That sounds like a reasonable trade. (Though for about the same fuel use, the Starlyte boils considerably faster. It just requires more ventilation.)
5) Since I'd have to punch more ventilation holes in my cone to use the Starlyte efficiently, I think I'm sticking with the 12-10 for now. The differences really aren't that large, and an 9 to 11 minute boil time doesn't annoy me. I may toy with the idea of a custom cone for the Starlyte when the fanaticism bug hits me again.