Update 7/30/09 – I found this tiny-living blogger who feels differently about rice cookers, but proposes using them in place of a stove!

Next time you are at Target, and thinking, What useless things can I spend my money on today?  Please buy this or this (which are actually not useless, but might satisfy your urge).  But please, DO NOT buy a rice cooker!  Unless you do not own a stove, there is no more useless appliance on earth (if you know of a more useless appliance, I would love to hear about it – leave me a comment).  

So, here it is…how to make rice without a rice cooker:  Put two parts water to one part rice in a pot.  Turn burner to high heat.  When water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Rice is done in 20 minutes.  (Recipe courtesy of my dad.  Or your dad.  Or anyone who does not own a rice cooker!)

Full disclosure:  We owned a rice cooker until a few weeks ago when we sold it to Wayne at Starbucks. Wayne, if you are reading this, I am sorry for your unfortunate purchase.  I will sell you my rice recipe for $20.