I needed two tries to get my cast-on right. I used Judy's Magic Cast-On. I finally remembered that Cat Bordhi's book had an explanation that worked for me, though I should say I'd done the cast-on a couple of times before I had that book.
Since the Knitty article, Judy figured out how to start this without a slip knot. That version is the one on Judy's site and in Cat's book. With this twist you have no lumps, bumps, or holes at all. Just remember to pull up the extra yarn tightly as you switch from one needle to the next. That little area of laddering is the only issue I've had once I get the technique going.
This cast-on works best with circular needles. They let you pull one side onto the cable and get the needle out of your way. Cat said at the workshop I took from her that you can start with a circular and switch to DPNs after the first round. I just can't see why I'd want more needles in there when I'm working on small stitches in a constricted space.
I love this cast on. It give a better, smoother toe than any other technique I've used, toe-up or top-down. I still find the whole toe bit fiddley, and I tend to make my socks too large, but that just gives me things to work on improving.