I came across this question in my Klout account...how would YOU answer it?
"What is the best reusable diaper that is affordable and does a good job? Is the hassle worth the cost and environmental benefit?"
My answer: The best affordable diaper (if looking for mass produced) would be a prefold or a flat, paired with a reusable cover. Inexpensive, customizable and sturdy. A tried and true option. If one is looking for an easy convenient option (similar to a single use throwaway design) then something like an AIO(all in one; Simplex, Freetime, etc) would fit the bit, although would be more expensive initially.
Yes, choosing and using cloth diapers is absolutely worth the extremely minimal hassle you may encounter(although problems can arise if one is using the wrong soap, too much/too little soap, improper washing techniques, etc). Cost savings may near ~$2000 and the environmental benefit of keeping 2 TONS of trash and human waste out of landfills can make one feel warm and fuzzy(not to mention keep chemicals away from our childrens' sensitive bits, preventing our homes from stinking like dirty diapers, numerous trips to the store because you only have 2 diapers left!)
Personally, having used both throw away diapers (first 10 months of my oldest's life) and subsequently using cloth diapers for the remainder of his diapering days and from birth on his younger brother, I can honestly, whole heartedly say to anyone - that cloth diapers should be the first option and ANYONE can do it. Even if you don't have access to a washing machine...or don't have the funds for that initial investment, it's still totally possible. Will it require a bit of work? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!