I would start with some good quality cast iron, tbh. You can find all sorts of stainless that will do the job for a decent price, but I'd spend the extra money on several pieces of cast iron (skillets in different sizes, dutch oven, etc.), and a good stainless skillet (or two). If you would use them, a good stock pot and roasting pan are also good investments.
I also have some older glass pans (not baking pans, stove-top pans), that are great. If you can find them in a thrift store, I recommend them. Like cast iron, they hold the heat well, and don't scorch as easily.
Honestly, I do most of my cooking now in either the cast iron skillet, or the glass pans, with the stainless skillet only being used for things like curries that get simmered, or cooking sauces that I don't want to be discolored.
Cristeen ~ Always remembering our warrior ~ Our is 3, how'd that happen?!?!
We welcomed another warrior in May 2012!!
2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012