When I was first learning to cook, I left a dishtowel a little too close to a burner. At some point, partly through boiling water for spaghetti, the dishtowel caught fire. I've been party to enough similar incidents over the years that I can't help but think that cooktops using radiant heat are a great idea.
The Maytag Electric Cooktop, for instance, uses four of Maytag's Insta-Heat radiant heating elements to replace old fashioned gas and electric burners. The whole thing is one flat surface, and is easy to clean--no more taking half the range apart after something falls into the drip pan. And I can't accidentally light my dishtowels on fire by leaving them somewhere on the stovetop.
Maytag named its heating elements "Insta-Heat" for a reason. Turn the knob and you'll have enough heat to start cooking within seconds. Maytag's Electric Cooktop actually comes in two sizes, making it easier to decide on a good fit for your kitchen. The 30-inch version has a price tag of $569, while the 36-inch model will cost you $719. The price can be a bit offsetting, because it isn't a full stove--if you want an oven, you'll need to go shopping separately. But, if you shop around, there are some deals to be had.