A heads up to U.S. readers: Amazon is having a 30% off sale on selected rice cookers  right now. They have models from the mid-$20s on up to the $200 to $300 range. The one featured on the top left of the page linked to, the white Zojirushi Neuro-Fuzzy rice cooker , is a newer version of the one I have! A rice cooker is a really great thing to have if you are serious about bento making (see Essential equipment for making bento lunches ).
It’s really great to see so many rice cookers are available now in the U.S. - and I’m sure that page doesn’t even start to list all the models available. Now we need to see a similar rice cooker boom in Europe… don’t you agree, my fellow Euro-habitants?
(Update: This next week I may be even slower than the last in answering emails and comments…as the first Big Deadline approaches. Please bare, I mean bear, with me! ^_^;)