I need to replace all of my stainless cookware because it's not compatible with induction. I currently own Calphalon's fully clad tri-ply pans. I've tested Cuisinox, All-Clad, Sur La Table and Le Creuset, all in fully clad stainless, 3 plies.
I rejected the All-Clad despite it's solid weight and quality construction because I hate the handles. At 59, I don't have the strength to deal with those skinny handles. The Cuisinox Elite suffers the same problem, as do my current pans, Calphalon (new handles are the same as on mine).
The Sur La Table and Le Creuset have very comfortable handles, but both are lighter than this pan and cost quite a bit more. They are very well made, but compared to this pan, not worth the premium price.
This pan is comparable in weight and construction to All-Clad. I know it's been said before, but I didn't believe it until I got my hands on one. It really is that good. It heats evenly, has good heat retention and recovery and feels very well-balanced. I suspect it feels so good because the handles are really just right. They have a profile very similar to Calphalon, but are larger in all dimensions, if that makes sense. Not too skinny, not too fat. Just right.
It's a perfect size for soups/chili for two, with enough left over for another meal. Clean-up is a breeze, as with all stainless pans. Here are my tips, after cooking with clad stainless for almost 12 years.
Use medium heat, unless you're boiling water. That's very important. Higher heat just isn't needed. Before cooking meats, chicken and such, heat the pan until a drop of water rolls around like a ball. You'll get best results if you've taken the chill off meat and chicken. Take it out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before cooking for great non-stick cooking. If you're browning meat, add oil to the hot pan, then wait until you see the first wisp of smoke. Add your meat and it should slide around easily. I don't use oil when cooking ground meats in this pan because I want it to be just a little sticky at first, so I don't end up chasing the meat around the pan. When you add liquid any stuck food will easily release. I use a wooden spoon to scrape up fond, although any utensil will work.
If you should burn something in it, add some water and bring it to a boil, then let it soak for an hour. Everything should come clean easily. If a scrubby doesn't do it, scrape it up with a spatula. Trust me, it will lift off quite easily. I've had no trouble removing severely burnt-on chili.
Occasionally, heating a dry pan will leave blue or copper discoloration. The pan will function just fine, but if you want it pretty, the color can be restored with Barkeeper's Friend. I have very hard water and often have salt deposits left after boiling pasta or potatoes. A quick rinse with a little vinegar takes salt right off. Swirl it around in the pan, then rinse. No more salt.
I occasionally get sticky polymerized oils on the bottom of the pan. Oven cleaner left to sit overnight takes it right off.
Cooks beautifully, food releases well, it comes out of the dishwasher looking great, easy to clean stuck-on food, seriously I just don't think anyone can go wrong with this pan. It truly is All-Clad quality at a Walmart price.