Boiling water is the simplest of cooking tasks, and while it's hard to do it wrong, there's definitely a way to do it better. Electric kettles boil water faster than a microwave, and safer than a stovetop. And the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Stainless Steel Cordless Kettle does it more precisely. With six different temperature settings, it quickly brings water to one of six different temperatures, optimized for different kinds of teas, coffee and a full boil. With a keep warm setting and illuminated indicator window, it is the ultimate tool for this most basic kitchen task. $83.44 at Amazon.com. If you don't need all the features, try the Hamilton Beach 40898 Cool-Touch Cordless 8 Cup for $47.84, or the Aroma AWK-115S X-Press for $24.86.