Originally Posted by rdiersin
I mentioned Cooks Illustrated magazine. They do a ton of testing and if you are really interested in cooking, they are a great resource for recipes (the narratives and just or more useful than the recipes) and a great resource for finding cookware. They test everything and always give a best buy. I have really yet to go wrong with something they recommend for cookware.
Their knives recommendations: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/equi...sp?docid=32210
I second the Cook's Illustrated magazine comment. I've subscribed to it for a few years now and really enjoy it. Recipes real people can use, I love to read the way they develop a recipe, and the product recommendations are very good. Plus I like the layout.
I've got a set of walnut handle Chicago Cutlery knives that an old g/f bought me back in the early 80's that have served me well. I don't think they're the highest quality you can buy, but they've done pretty well.
I use a sharpening steel on them just about every time I use them which helps keep the edge. I also get them sharpened about once every couple years and recondition the wood handles with some kind of oil (I forget what).
And I'll second sweetstop's good enameled cast iron le creuset dutch oven.