My friend taught me a brilliant way to cook rice. Granted I've never used a rice cooker so I can't compare, but it comes out fluffy and delicious and perfect every time, so you might want to try this before you splash out.
1. Put 1 cup of basmati rice to 2.5 cups of water in a bowl or jug to soak for a few minutes (this can be any size cup, not a 'measuring cup' - I just use a coffee mug) while you're doing step 2, which is:
2. Get a deep frying pan, with a clear lid so you can see what's going on. 1 tbsp olive oil into the pan, get it nice and hot. Into it, crush with your hand one 'roundel' of vermicelli so it's in tiny little bits. Fry it off until it turns dark brown, stirring all the time or it'll catch. It'll go suddenly brown, you'll see it happen.
3. Pour the rice/water mixture into the pan. Slowly. And stand back - it'll smoke like heck.
4. Put the lid on and boil fairly vigorously until the water bubbling up in between the rice grains disappears and turn into holes. This will take about eight minutes, perhaps ten depending on how vigorously you're boiling it.
5. Take the pan off the heat. Cover the pan with the lid still on with two (clean!) tea towels and leave on the counter for a further 10-15 minutes. The rice finishes cooking in its own steam, which is held in by the teatowels, and if any bits have stuck to the pan, the steam will dislodge them.
6. Stir it around a bit and serve.
This gets me perfect rice every time. The rice is fluffy and light and the vermicelli gives it a flavour not unlike fried rice from the Chinese takeaway - it's delicious. Oh, and if you're on a GF diet you can use GF vermicelli and it works just as well.