A chef friend of mine swears by her old-fashioned, manually operated apple peeler and corer (known in Sweden as Aunt Hulda's apple peeler). Here are a couple of sourcing ideas for the pie maker or the tarte tatin aficionado.
Above two photos: Aunt Hulda's Apple Peeler in black is €32 at Pannacotta.
Above: Williams-Sonoma offers a sturdy, dark red enameled cast-steel Apple Peeler/Corer for $29.95.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 20, 2011.