I have what I consider a well-stocked kitchen. I can also say after a few moves and purging, most of what is left in my drawers and cabinets I used on a regular basis. What works for me may sit in your drawer with only one use, but here are the pros (and cons) of what I consider my kitchen essentials.
-Hand Chopper-I have one from Oxo Good Grips. It's a little loud, but I use my chopper at least once a week to dice onions and veggies in about 1/2 the time it would take with a knife.
-Hand/Submersion blender-It may just seem like one extra appliance, but it really is invaluable for quick soups. Remembers Soups On this fall.
Handheld Cheese Grater-Processed Parmesan cheese is OK, but there is nothing like the real stuff freshly grated. Shredded cheese maybe easy, but simply buying blocks of cheese and grating it when you need it is good for the budget.
Stock pot-I cook all of our pasta and soups in this pot. It's also out at least once per week.
Mini food processor-I got two Cuisinart Minis as wedding presents. I find that they are a great size for making quick dips or salad dressings and having two has actually been really helpful.
Steamer-I have really only used the steamer for rice, but with the timer setting on the model that I have its so nice to add water, set the timer and forget about it until dinner is ready.