jnanian, you reminded me of a couple more things.
a one-gallon stainless steel pot that I use to mix chemicals, and the water-driven magnetic stirrer.
both very low cost. the pot was from Ross (a seconds store) and I think the stirrer set me back 50 cents at a rummage sale.
nice thing about having my own mixing pot is I don't have to keep secrets from my family any more (about what I've been doing with the Revere-ware)...