In my kitchen, I usually find myself reaching for my well seasoned cast-iron pans. They are the work-horse of kitchen pans. I roast chickens in my large one, make skillet cornbread, upside down cakes, roasted vegetables, and frittatas. I fry eggs in my flat one and cook french crepes. I toast spices and chilis peppers in my mini-pan, make pancakes and french toast in the medium sized, and the list goes on and on. I have several different sizes and while yes they are heavy, they are a cinch to clean up and very reasonably priced.
Most of my other pots and pans are stainless steel with an aluminum core, save my one dutch oven which is perfect for long-braised stews and comforting winter dishes.
Non-stick pans come in handy as well, and tend to be most economical. I prefer ceramic non-stick pans, and use them for anything that can be super sticky.