I have had many valuable encounters on this forum when i unexpectedly stumble on a suggestion that seems obvious and simple (in retrospect), but which, nevertheless, I had never thought of before.
Here is, I hope, my contribution (in that vein) for someone else.
I have made my last couple of starters now in better bottles. They are perfect because I make big starters (often a gallon) and i like to shake the hell out of them. I now no longer even think about going the stir plate/flask route (ok, maybe I think about it). You can't really shake the hell out of anything unless it is quite large, and--assuming you don't have a stir plate--it is hard to achieve optimal cell-growth without really being able to shake your starter. So, problem solved!
I know this is nothing mind-blowing, but that didn't stop me from taking so long to think of it.