“Is there anyone out there who has ran into problems with the pepsi can stove and it starting to ripple after it has been used a number of times?” No. I’ve never heard of that. I’ve worked with about 30 scouts and their pepsi stoves so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.
“does anyone have comments on the pepsi can stove?” Well everyone has their favorite style. I’ve grown fond of the standard style (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove
1. easy to fill
2. I can take my pot off ANYTIME without:
a) flame going out
b) flame staying on the bottom of the pan
c) flame flare up
3. easy to see how much fuel is left in the stove.
4. requires external stand so that I don’t have to do careful balancing acts of the pot. This could be a negative because now it’s one more piece to keep track of and haul.
Even with these nuances, backpackers have gotten around them in the other designs by just being patient.
“is it really meant for long distances?” Here’s a picture of one after being used every day 1-3 times on the full AT. http://www.trailquest.net/BRcookset.html
Alcy stoves are the only stove that made it through the whole AT w/ 0% failure rate. Low cost and high reliability. I love it.