CookwareRe the Lagostina cookware set, make sure that the stainless steel/aluminum sandwich is on the bottom AND up the sides. One way to know for sure: if the bottom looks like a plate and does not curve into the sides but appears almost like a separate part, then it hasn't got the aluminum core through and through.
Be careful about buying cookware sets - you'll probably be paying for some pieces you don't really need, and you might not be getting certain pieces that are essential. Make sure you have a stockpot/dutch oven of at least 8 quarts, a 9 or 10 inch skillet, a 6 inch skillet, and a 5 or 6 qt. saute pan with lid. These are the most essential cookware items.
Personally, I have fallen in love with the Cuisinox products. They give All-Clad a run for their money, at a fraction of the price.