I have been active in "illicit" home distilling for many years but operate now fully licensed. Over the years, I have made several stills, all in different shapes and styles. For most of my stills, I use propane burners and not an electrical heat source, just because I find gas easier ti regulate and I have natural gas available.
I have three type of stills, one for each purpose.
The copper pot still's
The copper pot still is definitely my favorite. It's gives the feeling that you are really distilling. I have a 25 liter and a 50 liter version. Both are based on old electrical hot water boilers which do have a copper boiler and not a steel boiler.
The lab glassware still
I am not using a full blown glass laboratory set up but only use a Pyrex erlenmeyer and made a very small counter flow cooler which I mounted on top. It is much cheaper and works the same (and less chance to break the glass). The hole in the rubber stopper on top is very easy to make, just put it in the freezer for a few hours and drill the hole with the required diameter for the cooler using a regular wood drill. I do not use a thermometer as I can see the progress.
I have several erlenmeyers if different sizes, up to 5 liters, which only cost around $25 and can be bought in any homebrewing store.