I have to chime in on this discussion of controling your element. When I initially got into homebrewing I bought a made in England Brewing Bucket that ran off of a 220v. Controling the element was a device called a simmerstat. It worked by cycling your element on and off the higher the setting the longer it stayed on. The element was a 2500 watt element and I was able to bring a 6 gallon bucket of water to boil in 45 minutes.
I have used this bucket for the last several years but early this year I started to think about a replacement / backup. I did some research and found out that a like product (Simmerstat) was sold in United States under the name
Simmerstat® Regulator or Cycling Timer. I was able to track down a supplier in Rock Island, Il who sold me one for $50.00. I then took the simmerstat and hooked the wires to a 3000 Low Watt Density 220v element and mounted it to a 32 qt aluminum pot. Made a mounting box to house the simmerstat and so far have made 20 batches with my new invention. I must say it works great. Can boil 6 gallons of water in 30 minutes and I have yet to have a bad batch.
So to sum things up if you are interested in a down and dirty kettle to boil your wort I'd look into something like this. I am in the process of upgrading to a 42 qt kettle and can't wait to try it out.
For what its worth the simmerstat ratings are 15 amps-200/250VAC or 15 amps-100/125VAC. So it could be used with a 110. If you are interested in the wiring diagram I have posted it on my profile.
All told I have less than $100.00 dolars in my kettle. Of course I did upgrade and put a weldless thermometer in it and put indicator lights on it so I know when I am hot and power is going to the element.
Simmerstat Web Site.
Simmerstat® Regulator or Cycling Timer
If you have questions feel free to ask.