I guess we have deviated from the original topic title!
Here is part of the forum post that KellyT posted in 2008 that we were referring too. If you do a search for pots and pans you will find her post and several other posts relating to cookware. Good luck
"I have been looking into new pans for a long time. I started at Bauman last October. Since then I have made many changes to our lifestyle, as many others here have done. I had been wanting new pans, but never made it a financial priority. I want to thank everyone here for the great discussion lately because I am FINALLY getting new pans.
I have spent the last couple of weeks heavily researching my choices. The pans I am replacing are Anolon Titanium. I have been to stores and online. For me, it was most important to see the pans in person. I care about how they feel to me.
Here is what I did:
First, what helped me the most was to figure out the sizes and types that I needed. We practice simple living, so I prefer to have the smallest number of pans possible. I have four children, so I need larger sizes.
I decided that the best quality pans were made of a "tri ply" type construction. They are an 18/10 stainless with a heavy gauge aluminum core sandwiched between the layers of stainless. (In 2005, Consumer Reports magazine did an article on pans. They found that less expensive stainless pans that had a copper or aluminum disk-type bottom were as risk of melting under high heat. They had pictures of pans that had completely lost their bottoms with melting metal everywhere. I don't want to run that risk.)
The brands I ended up focusing on were Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless, Calphalon Contemporary Stainless, All Clad, and Food Network Tri-Ply (available only at Kohl's). I also found out about Gordon Ramsey by Royal Doulton, but did not get to see it in person. (BTW - the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless also comes in a non-stick version that is a pale color inside...make sure you are looking at the right set.)
I went to the company websites and wrote down all sizes available and all prices. I found out how much discount we get when we purchase a set. It ranged from a low of only 6% for the 8 piece Calphalon Tri-Ply to a high of 40% for the 13 piece Calphalon Contemporary Stainless. The average discount is 34%.
All sets came with at least one pan I did not need and did not include some larger sizes I wanted. I then made a chart like this:
All Clad 7 piece All Clad 10 piece Calphalon Cont 13 piece etc, etc
Set 420 630 600
3 Qt saute 195 included included
etc, etc, down the list
This way I could see my true cost. The All Clad set ranged from $1240 to $1365, the Gordon Ramsey was $910, and the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless ranged from $870 to $895.
I looked at everything in person and was surprised to find that I hated the All Clad, mostly because of the handles. They are the only set made in the USA, so even though they are very expensive, I would prefer to buy from here.
However, when all was said and done, I decided what was best for our budget and needs was the Food Network Tri Ply set from Kohl's. It is normally $400, but last week was on sale for $320 and now is on sale for $299.
9 1/2" skillet
1 1/2 qt covered sauce
3 qt covered sauce
5 qt covered sauteuse (like saute pan)
8 qt covered stock
They also carry these extras:
5 qt dutch oven $90
4 qt chef pan $90
1 qt straining sauce $50
5 1/2 qt oval sauteuse $100
The single pots are on sale now as well: $70, $70, $40, and $80.
Kohl's always has special discount days or "Kohl's cash" you get for buying stuff at certain times. They also have free online shipping. I had $20 Kohl's cash for spending $100 there a week ago, so I was able to get the $100 pan for $60.
I have been very happy with the quality of the other Food Network items they sell (huge collection)."