I suppose I have my parents to blame. After all, growing up, I was the only kid I knew whose parents had a kerosene-powered flame thrower in the shed (OK, so when you use it properly, it's supposed to work like a flame torch, but if you turn on the main supply without going through the pre-heating ritual, it shoots a burning jet of kerosene a good five to ten feet. More if you over-pressurize the beastie :-) In case you're wondering, it was used for weed control or, occasionally, to completely fuck the yard.
So now I have two torches of my own - a little Bernz-O-Matic propane torch for the kitchen (perfect for caramelizing the sugar on a crème brulée) and the larger Mr. Heater for outdoor use (or for making really big crèmes brulées).
I can't find any figures (Bernz-O-Matic are curiously mum on the topic) but the little torch probably delivers no more than a couple thousand BTU/hr. By comparison, the big burners on my gas cooktop produce 15,000 BTU/hr. Mr. Heater delivers a rather more manly 500,000 BTU/hr.
However, for really REALLY big heating jobs (or, perhaps, to caramelize a crème brulée the size of a tennis court), it's nice to know one could turn to the Akron Turbine Group for one of their trailer-mounted modified jet engine rigs that deliver up to 20,000,000 BTU/hr.
Mucho. Bueno. Pronto.