I've used a commercial stove (Brasslite) and a supercat type of stove, and for Christmas I just got a compact Caldera Cone setup. I've only done one test burn, but it seems to confirm what I read elsewhere --- that it is indeed a more efficient setup. Which in turn should help offset that "not as good on longer trips" factor.
Yes, alcohol is a less efficient fuel, but with a really efficient setup you can still heat water without too much fuel. In my test burn at maybe 40F or upper 30's outside I got 2 cups of water hot, "near boiling" using 15 ml of fuel (about 1/2 a fluid oz) and it took 4 minutes and 45 seconds. The days of me getting razzed by my jetboil-carrying friend are perhaps over --- TBD in actual field conditions. I don't live at a very high elevation, but one great thing about the Caldera Cone setup is the performance in windy conditions (integrated wind screen).