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Bargain Cookware...What to look or watch out for?

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I've decided to get my mother a piece of cookware (either frypan or saute pan) for the holidays.
While she's probably never made a pan sauce in her life, I know she'll appreciate a piece that cooks evenly, effectively, and gives her little cleanup trouble.

I'm going to the Home Shopping Network employee store to reap the discounts. I'm sure I'll encounter all the celebrity chef lines as well as some lesser known ones. Unfortunately, I won't have access to the trustworthy Chowhound public while I'm perusing. So I need some advice on selecting a worthy piece?

Also, anyone have any comments on the new Green Pans?

Thanks

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  1. Check out restaurant supply catalogs on the web. The prices are amazingly low and you know the wares have to be sturdy to stand up to heavy use. For instance, I recently got an anodized saucepan for about one-quarter the price of Calphalon.
    ular brands are Vollrath and Wear-Ever. Here are two places I've ordered from:

    http://www.surfasonline.com/

    http://www.restaurantsource.com/