Thanks for the replies, all.
Mostly I guess I was venting in public. That's what forums are for, right?
> Too high evaporation- add back a gallon or so of water after 60-75 minutes
This had never occurred to me. But it feels too much like partial-boil. Wouldn't this affect hop utilization rates?
> +1 to the measuring rod/stick. Low tech and reliable.
I guess the reason I haven't done this is because the kettle had _some_ markings.
One comment: I'm paranoid about using a permanent marker on the kettle or any kind of stick. What kind of chemicals are in the ink, and will they get into my wort?
> also could partially cover your kettle, and you could reduce the heat input, once you are at boiling, the higher the heat input the faster the boil off and vice versa.
Partial cover had also not occurred to me, having been taught to never cover the boil. I have tried to vary the heat input, but something is funky with either the regulator or the burner. (Never been fully satisfied with those, either.) There's a very fine line between full-rolling-boil and not-quite-boiling that I've got to park the knob on.
> Appears to me that you just have the itch to buy some different equipment.
Maybe. Maybe just distracted by shinies. Never been 100% happy with this kettle, though. Too many compromises.