Also called the peasant heel, the afterthought is my favorite for socks in self-patterning yarns. Because in the traditional heel, the instep stitches are stalled to knit the heel portion. This can offset the stripes, and that just bugs the hell out of me.
This heel not only preserves the instep stripe pattern, but also stripes around the heel itself, which makes an OCD knitter like me extremely happy. Also, this heel is easily unraveled and reknit, something I can see myself attempting a few years down the line when I wear holes in my precious handknit socks.
Yes, I'm off the magic-loop and back on dpn's. Yes, there are tiny ladders, and no, I don't care. I just can't make up my mind, or maybe I enjoy the variety of choices. The magic loop is dandy for shoving socks in your purse without the danger of a dpn sticking out and pricking your thigh, for knitting 2 socks at once, or for looking cool at knit clubs. However the dpn's are waaaay faster for me, because I don't drop the yarn or adjust the tips with each round - I just go around & around, and after about an hour, I have a few more inches dangling below my needles.
If you want more toe-up sock action:
Queen Kahuna's Crazy Toes & Heels: Full of details that leave nothing to the imagination, her revolutionary heel looks just like the tradtional heel flap, but WITHOUT picking up any stitches. Amazing! But wait, there's more! You also get instructions for both toe-up and cuff-down methods, socks on 2 circs, afterthought & short-row toes & heels, all sorts of charts, and much more, all with step-by-step photos.
The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook: With spinning & dyeing tips, several sock knitting methods, and beautiful photos of colorful socks, this book could possibly inspire you to knit nothing but socks forever.
Wendy Johnson's Tiptop Toes: This Knitty article contains all my favorite methods of starting at the toes.
Socknitters.com Afterthought Heels: This is a short tutorial on knitting a sock from the toe with afterthough heels.