What about Stevia ? is that safe because it is made from a plant ?
There was some concern about it causing cancer a while ago. But, on that same note, there were some reports that other sweeteners caused cancer... but, more vigorous studies didn't confirm the initial reports. The FDA now says that it should be safe:
"Based on its review of information and data submitted by industry, FDA has concluded there is no basis to object to the use of certain refined Stevia preparations in food. These refined Stevia preparations may be lawfully marketed and added to food products sold in the United States. "
Don't buy into the whole... if it's natural then it's harmless propaganda. There are a lot of poisonous mushrooms and plants out there that are more toxic than most pharmaceuticals. What you really have to wonder about is... has this substance (natural or not) been adequately studied, and is it safe and effective?
I prefer sugar. I need the extra calories (I'm really thin), and I like the taste of sugar best. If I have to choose among the other sweeteners, Splenda is my favorite.
I used Splenda for years, and still use it when I'm out as my first choice over the other sweeteners if I'm looking at packets. I've also used Stevia - it's good, but no better than Splenda as far as I'm concerned.
Now, my new favorite is SweetzFree, which is sucralose (the ingredient in Splenda), but is pure and in liquid form. Since it doesn't need the additives to dilute it or help it "powder", it has really no aftertaste at all, but is just pure sweetness. It's only available online and is expensive (about $18/oz), but you only use a drop or two in a cup of coffee, so it lasts quite a while.