+1 for fermentation temp control. My best (award winning) beers have come from wort produced with a Gott Cooler, an aluminum pot (that doesn't even have a valve), and a focused, practical, RDWHAHB mindset.
The trick was the two stage controller with a chest freezer and heat belt. There are plenty of good threads to explain the specifics - but the money spent on these items yielded SIGNIFICANTLY more return than any pump, pot, or shiny automatic widget (and this coming from a Controls Engineer!).
I made my own immersion chiller from 1/2" copper when I started going > 5 gal batches - 'bout as fancy as I get.