Vollrath and Lincoln-Wearever are the class acts of commercial cookware in this country. Their weights, fit and finish, handle shapes, etc., are as good as it gets. Very highly recommended.
It's nice to have some aluminum and/or carbon steel pans for the things (most) they do better than stainless. To some extent, this is why restaurants use so much aluminum and/or carbon steel. Another reason is price.
There are certain things you can't (or, more properly, shouldn't) do in an un-anodized aluminum, un-enameled steel, or un-enameled cast iron pan -- and that is cook with dry salt or high acid foods. High acid means all fruit, including tomatoes, as well as foods with lots of vinegar.
Aluminum is highly conductive, heats evenly, is very responsive to heat changes. Best of all, it is light and encourages developing toss-turning technique. If you don't already do this, it's something you should learn. Not because it's showy or looks good, but because it's the only way to truly saute -- it just cannot be done right with a spatula. Sorry. On the other hand, aluminum dings and warps easily. Good carbon steel holds up better than good aluminum -- especially in these respects. For that matter, plain stainless steel (like old Revere or Farberware) warps and dents easily indeed.
The most important skillet sizes for a home cook, cooking for two, are 8", 10" and 12". You should have at least one 8" skillet, two 10" skillets, and one 12" skillet. I'd double on the 12" before adding an extra 8". It's easier to make a medium-sized pan to act like a small one, that make it act like a large one. Because of the limitations with materials other than stainless or coated aluminum, steel, or cast iron -- I'd suggest one of each size made from a non-reactive material before adding aluminum or steel.
IMO carbon steel is a better choice for most cooks than aluminum because it does everything as well and a few (important) things (saute, sear, omelettes, pancakes, etc.,) better at the expense of a little weight. As it happens, Vollrath also makes very good carbon steel. So do Matfer Bourgeat, World Cuisine and DeBuyer -- to name a few. Stay away from Halco.
The Vollrath stainless line with the aluminum diffuser disk bottom, "Intrigue," is good stuff. IMO, on the expensive side for this type of cookware. You can find better deals with the normal big discounters. Emerilware, Wolfgang Puck, Cuisinart Classic, are a few lines -- just as good -- that you often see heavily discounted. Vollrath also makes an excellent multi-ply line, "Tribute," which competes with All-Clad, Calphalon, Gourmet Standard, etc. Great stuff, I love the flares on the pan edges. Unfortunately no helper handles on the large size saute pans and so forth. It's not really designed to translate to the female home cook. Also, the lids are ridiculously expensive. Of course, there's no law that says you can't buy cheaper lids.
An advantage to both the disk and multi-ply composite pans is that they don't warp nearly as easily. The best of the species warp less easily still. They also tend to be more ding resistant.
Cast iron is probably best reserved for certain specialty pieces. If you fry chicken, for instance, you may want a 14" cast-iron straight sided pan. Sound large for two? It's exactly the right size to fry a whole chicken at once. Horses for courses, as the saying goes. I feel the same for enamel over cast. That is, it's best in specialty roles. This has more to do with expense, weight and fragility of the surface than anything else. It's dynamite stuff, otherwise.
Bottom line: If you want to fool around with aluminum, Vollrath is one of the best ways to go. Get 10" and 12" skillets. The stuff is cheap enough that if you don't like it, you can toss it without breaking the bank. If you want to cut straight to the chase, buy a couple of carbon steel pans.