I find propane torches are best if you want to spend the money. Only seconds to have a hot smoking smoker, damp fuel, high wind, no problem. Long handled barbque/fireplace lighers for less fire but less cost. I use paper to help heat my smoker and help start my fuel.
I use either a long butane "Aim-N-Flame" type lighter or a propane torch. I use dry pine straw to start the smoker, then cram in all the damp pine straw I can. This produces plenty of cool dense smoke. I tried some of the cotton waste smoker fuel, but as I dump my smoker after use, I sometimes forget to gather up the smoldering remnants of the plug. We have lots of old burlap tobacco sheets in our area, so I may try that. My grandaddy used to use burlap in his smokers. I bought a ball of sisal twine and just stuck the whole thing intact in the smoker and lit it. It was OK, but I had a hard time keeping it burning.