You cannot beat cast iron for durability, versatility or longevity. I buy these often as wedding presents for people who like to cook. This is my go-to pan for about 70% of everything that happens on the hob.
PROS You can cook just about anything (except eggs or skinless fish -- go non-stick) in these. Sausage. Black pudding or haggis. Roasted vegetables (start off on stovetop then bung it into oven). Or bake a pancake with it in the oven. Make coq au vin. In fact, for French cooking or anything with a sauce, the pan is great for grilling meat (remove), sweating vegetables (remove), then adding sauce or wine and putting it all into the oven. Likewise, absolute tops for pan-grilling steak.
Also, easy to clean, especially if you heat it up on stovetop after washing it (with little or no soap), then wipe it with a thin film of oil. (A silicon brush or paper towel works wonders.)
CONS Heavy, but that's also why they're great for cooking (with a relatively even heat).
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