I stumbled across aluminum welding rods, like those used for TIG welding, and liked the price, so I bought 5 pounds of 3/32" diameter x 36" long 5356 aluminum rods for about $30. Not a bad price when compared to the wire, which is usually about $10-$20 per pound.
What did I find when using these? They are extremely stiff when compared to the soft 1100 series wire! It actually made me re-consider some of my attachment methods, and it has saved me a good deal of time. I've now completed 2 completely successful batches, and am thrilled at the abilities of this stiffer welding rod, so I wanted to share this with everyone.
Here's one of the most troublesome shapes I've found for attaching an electrode to: a cylinder with no threaded holes. In addition, no external 'white spots' are an option. I used to hate anodizing parts like this, now they're a breeze. A simple J-bend in the end of the welding rod provides plenty of clamping force to provide a good connection throughout anodizing while leaving tiny electrode connection marks.