But I'd love to come up with a reasonable way to avoid using 1lb bottles.

Ok, two options.
1) do like a chili cookoff competitor friend of mine does and rig a 30# propane tank to your stoves. (he uses a big fryer stove for everything...never apologize for too much horse power) grin

2)Collect stoves, like I do. I have mostly Optimus Sveas, Svea 123's, R-8's, Nova's, old Coleman backpackers, etc. Just pull out another burner when you need it. 1 gal. of camp gas goes a loooooooog way. Start shopping ebay and Craigslist.
paul, texas KD5IVP