Looks like the SVEA does not need priming. If I am wrong, please correct me.
Do you have to mess around with a small amount of gas in small cup to light it?
I have an older MSR and don't especially like all the extra. Fuel line attached to bottle, the priming, the praying, the windscreen, etc.
This thing even had it's own pot. It looks so much simpler to use.
A SVEA does need priming. Here's how I do it year-round and reliably. It may look a little hairy at first, but follow the directions and you'll be OK:
Do not buy a priming pump, even though it's offered by the maker. It's extra weight, extra cost, and an extra chance to overpressurize the tank. You'll hear from others with contrary opinions.
Do not carry an eyedropper for squirting priming fuel around the base of the burner head. The method described below does a better job by preheating the fuel for reliable lighting. You'll hear from others with contrary opinions.
Carry a few extra matches in summer and a candle in winter.
Fill the tank, replace the tank cap, and make sure that no fuel has slopped onto the stove sides or your hands or clothing.
Have an extra match or two standing by ready for lighting -- you'll see why later.
Open the valve and heat the bottom of the tank with a match or two (summer) or candle (winter.) (Don't use the standby matches for this.)
Watch carefully for fuel to start rising out of the valve and down into the topmost cup around the fuel orifice. As soon as you get some fuel in that tiny cup, extinguish the match/candle flame and close the valve. You WILL be able to do this safely, if you don't overdo the heating so that fuel comes squirting out. (You'll hear from others with contrary opinions.) Don't heat so much that fuel collects in any appreciable quantity at the base of the burner assembly on the top of the tank. In really, really cold weather, you might need to let a little accumulate around the base of the burner head.
Light the fuel that came out of the orifice and let it burn down almost to going out.
Open the valve and relight as necessary with your standby match(es.)
If you screw up and you can't get it lit, close the valve, let it cool down, open and reclose the fuel cap when you can safely handle the stove with bare hands, and start over. (If it's very cold, you may need to handle the stove with gloves, but let it cool to hand-holding temperature first.)
You may see some nonsense about being able to preheat the fuel just from the warmth from your hands around the tank. It's not reliable in summer and impossible in winter, in my experience. I seriously doubt that you'll hear from anyone with a contrary opinion on this one.
Don't attempt to light a SVEA inside a tent until you're well-practiced in your preferred technique. If you're outside and you screw up, smother with heaps of snow or pitch the flaming stove into a snowbank -- it will cool down the stove and extinguish it pretty quickly. If it's summer, be sure not to pitch it into the pitchpines . . .
Once you master the lighting technique, you can count on roaring (sorry, MadRiver) heat for an hour, at temps way below zero. Remember to clean the orifice occasionally with the cleaning needle. Every ten-twenty years or so, replace the gasket on the tank cap. Do nothing else and your SVEA will be your treasured backcountry companion for decades, even better maybe than your dog.