i don't and won't own or use any coated pans.
i use a mixture of oldie cast iron and modern lodge
and far eastern made of unknown origin
and have one lodge "steel" skillet i bought as a
knockabout for camping.
the steel lodge has worked as well as any i've ever
used for anything. i use it quite often. used it yesterday
for a couple of scrambled eggs. cleans up really easy.
it's also relatively inexpensive. i'll also add that there's
no way i'd pay what a lot of those "cooking" show
gurus pay for those pans they use.
It all depends on what things you want to cook. I tried to use just steel and iron, but I had to use a lot of butter when doing eggs. The nonstick 8 inch pans are outstanding for making eggs the way I like them. Omelets. Over easy. Spanish tortilla style, not to be cornfuzed with Mexican tortillas. I keep mine separate from all other cookware and store to on top of the fridge. Nobody else is allowed to use it. It's also very good for fish that doesn't have batter or breading on it.
Because I'm careful with mine, and use a silicone or wood spatula with it, it gets no significant scratches, but the coating does wear out. I usually get five years out of a skillet, then we take it to a metal recycler.
I believe that there are good applications for high dollar pans like all clad brand. My buddy has a whole set of them. Do not knock these things unless you've tried them. Performance is stunningly good. I have one 10 inch all clad style lidded sauté pan made by haenkels and it cost a hundred bucks. Totally worth it. But that's only because I cook a lot. Super even heating. In every way better than, say, Farberware. I have gravitated away from cast iron and am using that pan a lot now. I still use cast iron, but not nearly as much as I used to. The haenckels costs about a third of what the comparable all clad pan costs, so as with coolers, there are premium products at less than premium prices.
As for cost, I see no point in spending big bucks on a non stick pan. They wear out. I have been perfectly satisfied with cuisinart products, and their nonstick 8 inch pan costs $20 at Target.
Being seeeerious about good eggs, I also own a stainless 1 quart farberware sauce pan that I use for poached eggs. Between the 8 incher, the sauce pan, a slotted spoon, a silicone spatula, and some vinegar for poaching and butter and oil for eggs and omelet fillings, I'm well equipped to tackle anything I want to do with eggs.
Spanish style tortilla...
Delish if you haven't tried them.