Updated for 2019!
If the kitchen is your workshop, then cookware is one of your most important tools. Good quality cookware can be the difference between an enjoyable cooking experience and a miserable one.
You don't have to buy the most expensive stuff out there--in fact, you can get very high quality cookware for less than you probably think you can. But you should be willing to invest a little bit, because good quality cookware not only makes cooking more fun, it will also last a lifetime, take a beating, and still look great.
Our favorite cookware is clad stainless. Yes, it's more expensive, but we think it's worth every penny. (And again, you can get a good set for less than you probably think.)