When I got married, I got a nice set of Hard Anodized Calphalon. It looks great and has served me well, but I have never "loved" it. A few years ago I noticed that "Le Creuset" was all the rage. I started to believe that maybe cast iron was functional after all, but that it was necessary to cover up that ugly exterior with colorful enamel. I thought I was sold on it, but alas, it's expensive. Holy cow, it's outrageous! Definitely out of my price range.
Last year, on a whim, I bought a 12" Lodge cast iron skillet.... at Wal-Mart.... because it was 18 bucks! At that price, I figured I could afford to dump it if it was junk. Oh my. I cooked with it once and I was hooked! It never leaves my stove top (except to get washed).... I don't bother putting it away because it's the pan I use the most. It cooks everything beautifully, on the stove or in the oven, and cleans up in a snap! (And it literally last forever!) Plus, it seems like everything tastes better when it's cooked in cast iron. Who needs enamel?
Now my skillet has a friend, who also lives on my stove top. For my birthday,
And you know what? I LOVE how it looks.... bare-naked cast iron. Beauty.