Glad you asked the question, because it's so poorly misunderstood. Furthermore "opinions," many of which are ill informed or superstitions, and some of which represent extreme but good practice, are all over the map.
Look, it's all about utility -- about using the pan. If you had a restaurant that did a ton of omelettes every morning it would be worth setting aside a few pans just for the task; and some restaurants do that. But for people like us, a great deal of the value of a pan is in its versatility. You absolutely can clean one of these babies with hot water, dish soap, and a natural bristle or nylon brush. One thing you can do when the pan gets really crummy, is fill it with water and let it sit for awhile to soften the crud. Get the pan clean, and make sure you get it very dry before hanging. If you think you might have hurt the cure -- spread a little oil on the cooking surface, get the pan in a slow oven for awhile, turn off the oven and let the pan cool for a few hours (it's the slow cool down which does the trick, brother). Then hang it up.
Here's the deal. The surface of the pan isn't quite regular. As oil and fat get into the crevices the heat purifies it and it becomes pure carbon, which bonds to the pan. Eventually, the carbon builds up so that it's at (or almost at, the the high points of the metal surface --it's that carbon which is the "non-stick." Once you get it going, it's very hard and strong, and not easy to get off. Especially true, once you've formed it. It's not easy to get out unless you scour the pan with powder, metal pads or other really aggressive cleaning agents. On the other hand, cleaning with soap (which dissolves oil) will slow the curing process.
When the cure is finally and completely set, it's much tougher than the plastic non-stick coatings which are used in commercial "non-stick" cookware. It's almost completely resistant to scratching; and if it is damaged it can be restored by simply using the pan.
As I said, you're not going to get the pan squeaky. But you can and should use it for everything other than things very high in acid -- like wine, tomatoes and vinegar. It's the reactivity which keeps carbon from taking over the world. You'll want to keep you shiny stainless core set, but you'll find yourself reaching for the grotty old carbon most of the time.
Also, the cure, non-stick as it is, does not mean you don't use oil when cooking. You use oil (or other fats) in the same amounts as you would otherwise use to sear, pan fry and saute. When searing, meat will still stick to the pan as the proteins crystallize and fond forms. However the sticking creates the timing, and everything comes loose beautifully at the appropriate moment. Pan Wow! Like magic.
The continual, appropriate (preheat before adding) use of oil, and appropriate treatment (no scouring) of the pan, will keep the surface improving until it's completely cured -- even though you keep it clean.
Let's not overcomplicate. Just try it.