I think the propane stove are much easier to use and maintain compared to white gas stoves. They are annoying to pump and they always seemed to clog for me. Compared to a propane stove, you just screw on a cylinder and your cooking with gas! The propane cylinders seem more ubiquitous these days too.
As far as I can tell, the only reason to get a white gas stove is if you regularly cook in sub 15 °F weather, but who car camps at those conditions?
The fat cylinders are cheaper than the skinny, ones used for torches, and go on sale pretty regularly at hardware stores and outdoors shops. The 20 lb cylinders are even cheaper, but as you mentioned can be a pain to lug around. If cost is a big issue, you can probably jerry rig (at your own risk) a way to refill the smaller cylinders from the bigger ones. Shouldn't be too difficult.
After I tried out a buddies, I went out a bought a propane stove and haven't touched my white gas stove since. The mistake I made was to value quality over size and weight (since it is car camping). Well I overshot. I got this soto stove: http://www.sotooutdoors.com/products/item/OD-2AL.html
The thing is a tank. It will probably last for ever, which isn't a good thing for how heavy and awkward it is to pack. If I was going to do it all over, I would buy something more compact and lighter.