I second Cuenca. Great weather, great food, great vibe, ruins, awesome. One of the best hotels I've ever stayed at (circa 2006, though), right in the market, you kind of don't realize it's there. Lots of Ecuadorians stay, cheap, clean, big rooms, airy, and if you want anything at all - coffee, guinea pig on a stick, fruit, whatever - it's right there. Kickass town, too.
I thought Quito was overrated and boring, but it might have been the company. Nice architecture, though. Don't go to that fucking tourist trap on the equator. I love tourist traps, but what a letdown. Go to Guyaquil..... Lonely Planet had given it a really bad recommendation, so of course I had to go. It was AWESOME. I got to shake hands with a presidential candidate, she looked like a hot Ann Coulter, met a bunch of cool people from Quito down there to party, and got drunk off my ass on their awesome boardwalk/party thing, AND my hotel room came with crack and a crack pipe! And half a joint! I always look around my rooms just in case someone left a little present, and boy, did they ever. I gave the crack to some backpackers, who helped me find more weed, and we all just had a blast.
The BEST place I went in Ecuador (once again, probably because of the company) was on an Amazon tour from Tena. Tena is small and boring, but pretty cool, you can go whitewater rafting, they've got a nice park, it's cheap. But the main thing is scoring an Amazon boat tour. Anyway, they were retardedly expensive, like $100/day, and it was just me. So I went around to all the different tour operators, and finally one hooked me up with this group of like 20 French tourists for a five day tour, $27/day since there were so many people. It was FUCKING AMAZINGLY AWESOME. Since none of the French people could speak much Spanish or English (except for their translator, who was kind of standoffish) I mostly hung out with the crew. They gave me some kind of hallucinogenic tea, they took me swimming with fucking piranhas, (they were all, "Hey, is it your time of the month? No? Let's go swimming then!) we went hiking and stayed in these bitchin el cheapo jungle lodges.... you could see the nice lodges, we were in the shitholes, but the shit holes are better, especially when you're with French people because they can take anything without whining like a fucking German. It was rad.
OK..... I guess that's more than my 2¢. HAVE FUN.
"4 cylinder Camaro=communism" El Presidente
"You can smoke salmon but it's not quite the same as smoking heroin." nanuq