You can get decent burners with a pot (which you are also looking for) pretty cheap. Browse around Amazon, Sears and similar stores. Not sure what pot you settled on, but I'm happy with my 30qt pot + burner combo from Sears I picked up for $50. Recently, I've started doing 3.5 gallon stovetop batches since I live on the 12th story of an apartment overlooking Lake Erie in Cleveland. Talk about wind!
I'd have to agree that 30 min for 1g on a gas stove is horrible. If your pot is squat instead of tall, you can straddle two burners. This works especially well if you have gas. Not so great with electric elements.