The *only* crypt (not that I've kept a lot of them) that ever gave me any grief was C. parva. This stuff remains green, takes forever to settle in, and prefers stronger lighting than your average crypt. I've had "generic" C. wendtii (bought at PetsMart) that did fine, C. wendtii 'Tropica' that grows beautifully (as long as it's planted in rich substrate), C. wendtii x hybrid (which I've only had for a few weeks so I can't say much about) and C. pygmaea, which went through complete melt and is recovering as well as can be expected.
What size crypt were you looking to get? What size is the tank, where did you want to place the crypt (foreground, middle, back) and what sort of color and leaf shape are preferrable to you?
Right now all I have is my ten gallon, but by the 20th of this month I am getting a 75 All-Glass. Im not too sure what I want yet, but I have always liked the purple looking leaves on some crypts, and the odd wrinkled up leaves. I pretty much just wanted some names of easy crypts so I could look up the pictures and get some ideas.
Easy Cryptocorynes with colored leaves and/or ruffled leaves:
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica' (also known as 'bronze')
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'rose' (pink-brown color and only 4-5" tall at most)
...just to name a few, these stay relatively small.
I would veer away from Cryptocoryne wendtii 'red' simply because it can attain such a large size (almost sword plant-like!). I hear tell that becketii and walkeri can also get rather large in aquaria as well, although both are relatively easy to grow.
Grass-like Cryptocorynes are a possibility, too. Cryptocoryne balansae has beautiful, long ruffled leaves and isn't too demanding.
Well, you can't really go wrong with C. wendtii and its variants. Color/size/shape achieved will depend greatly on conditions. I have some C. wendtii that remained green with long petioles, smooth leaves and generally speaking, "scrawny-looking," in an Eclipse System three (3 gallons, 6W flo light, sand substrate), then suddenly grew reddish-brown HUGE leaves with short petioles and wavy edges just by moving a few small pieces into a 5.5-gallon tank with 14W flo light and *Flourite* substrate and CO2 injection.
I'll just add that many times Crypts experience mild to severe "melt" or "rot." Plant them immediately after you bring them home, give 'em time to do whatever they need to do (no melt/partial melt/entire melt) and new leaves will start to grow out. OK?
I've had C. walkeri do exactly what you've described you like in a crypt in a 20H under a 36w PC. When a bunch got too tall for me I just trimmed off the offenders and it kept going as long as I didn't change anything else, or take too many off at one time. 2-3 leaves every few days didn't phase it a bit. It's done very well for me and is my fav crypt to this point, I'd highly recommend it.
Does anyone have any good pics of Cryptocorne Wendtii and Beckettii? I think I've seen some at my LPS, but I'm not sure, because they aren't tagged. I want to get some, but I'm going to need more pictures to able to identify them. Don't bother suggesting PlantGeek.net, I've already seen them there and there's only one picture for them (small platnlets ones too). Looking for nice distinguisable pictures. I've also heard about places labeling them wrong.
What about HeyPK's pictures in the Crypt album at this wonderful site? I thought they were pretty good. My advice would be to buy one pot of each type you see. I also find that even in my tank crypts like wendtii and becketti look the same when the leaves are small.
In general if the LPS doesn't have them labeled, they aren't going to have a staggering selection of crypts.