Pros: Pouring lip, design of the pot body, quick, even heating
Cons: Handle a little small for my hands
I'd been wanting a pot of this capacity for a while, and some time ago decided on this one. I decided to wait before making the purchase because I got a Le Creuset oven last month, so this month I bought the Calphalon pot.
The size and shape of the pot is just perfect for its intended use, and the rounded design of the interior bottom makes stirring sauces, soups, and other items easy and complete. The curve of the interior bottom almost perfectly matches the shape of the silicon spatula I use for stirring, and allows for even the smallest amount of food to be stirred and mixed. The pot has what is sometimes called a "pouring lip," a rounded edge that allows for dripless and neat pouring. This is a very worthwhile feature, especially in a smaller pot where the contents are frequently poured out rather than ladled.
The pot heats quickly, evenly, and efficiently. Even the lowest setting on the medium burner on my stove provides plenty of heat for a good simmer. With some other pots, that particular burner has to be set a little higher to get the same rate of simmer. And, as with the more expensive All-Clad pots that I own, the heat seems to be evenly distributed. The pot heats up quickly, as well. It's just several seconds before the top rim of the pot is warm to the touch when starting from a cold state. I would strongly recommend reading the instructions that come with the pot, and use lower heat settings and the proper sized burner, although that's generally true for all pots.
This morning I heated up a little vegetable stew, and, after allowing the pot to cool down, soaked it for a few minutes in hot, soapy water. The pot cleaned up easily. Calphalon recommends using Barkeeper's Friend or a similar product for cleaning stubborn messes. I highly recommend the product and frequent cleaning of all stainless steel pots and pans with it. Both the pot and the lid are dishwasher safe, a nice feature.
While the size and shape of the pot is perfect for its intended purpose, neither too deep nor too wide, the handle is a little skimpy for my preference and the size of my hands. However, since it's a small pot, even when it's filled it's not too heavy, and the handle poses no problems or discomfort. Still, a slightly larger handle would be appreciated, although I can see where it may be an ideal size for someone with smaller hands. Speaking of the handle, it's attached with three, rather than the more usual two, rivets, for a pot of this size and in this price range. The handle should remain secure for a long time.
Edited April 28, 2010: This morning I noticed that, if the flame is too high beneath the pot, the handle can get quite warm. Again, be careful and don't use too high a flame or too large a burner.
The glass lid appears strong and well made, and of somewhat better quality than the lid on the 1-quart Simply Calphalon pot I've been using for a few years, and that lid has held up well and caused no problems. Both go through the dishwasher and come out looking like new.
One is almost forced to compare the Calphalon pot to the more expensive All-Clad. At this point in my ownership, I'd say the Calphalon pot is comparable in performance to the All-Clad pots I have, and is easier and more convenient to use because of the pouring lid and the rounded interior bottom. It would be nice to see how well the Calphalon holds up after 30 years or so, the length of time I've had the All-Clad. However, at this time, I can say that the value of the Calphalon is better than the All-Clad since the pot offers comparable performance at about half the price.
Just to avoid any possible confusion, this pot is not a disk bottomed pot, but is straight gauge, three layers, all the way up the sides. I purchased the pot at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for about $61.00 with a 20% discount off the usual selling price. I feel I got a good deal.