Hi all, first post in what looks like a lovely community.
I've been cooking pretty regularly for a decade; I'm no expert but I can follow a recipe and mildly experiment with those recipes I know. This whole time I've lived at home, so I never bought cookware because we had a fully-stocked kitchen. Now I'm getting married and have moved to another country, and my fiancée doesn't cook beyond boiling water, and we're happy with this arrangement. She's always lived with a roommate, so didn't need cookware, and I've never had any of my own, so I'm getting by with her roommate's cookware for now, but I'm looking to fill my kitchen before she eventually moves out.
I've read a bit in the forums, and the advice seems tailored for the specific situations, but mine is a little different (though if I missed a post, link away!). I don't have anything to start with, so I don't have to match anything, and I don't have an affinity for any brand. Unlike most in this situation, I'm not a poor student, but have been working for a few years, and I have some nice savings, so I'm willing to shell out money right away (or have my wedding guests do it) rather than spending years to slowly accumulate things (though I can wait and go piecemeal). But while I want quality cookware that will last for decades, I don't need to spend tons of money just for a name (or a cult).
What I do in the kitchen: I mainly make one- or two-dish meals (mainly because I was eating for one), but I expect to make larger meals in a few years (entertaining, family). I usually go for the stove, but I've been using the oven more recently. I don't really stick to any specific kind of cooking method or style, just whatever's tasty. I do very little in the baking and dessert categories, same with deep frying.
What I think I'm looking for (tell me why I'm wrong and/or what I should be getting):
* Dutch oven, large, enameled (one of my go-to pieces, I just got one)
* Corningware (a bunch of smaller oven side dishes, already got them)
* Large pot for boiling water for pasta, maybe making stock one day (8-10 L, ish?)
* "Pots and pans" (this is where I need help): I want to be able to fry meat, getting lots of fond to make sauces; I want to be able to cook meats in liquid, simmering or boiling, covered or not (could use Dutch oven); I want to be able to sauté diced vegetables, sometimes just an onion, sometimes a whole bunch (the latter doesn't need to be a wok, but serve a similar purpose); I want to be able to steam/boil vegetables, preferably at least two pots. I guess I want about a half a dozen pieces (not counting tops).
I figure if I do end up doing roasting, it'll be in the Dutch oven, so I can wait for such things.
I currently have a gas stove; I assume that at some point that will give out, and, like most of the rest of the world, I'll be moving towards an efficient induction top. I'm used to washing things by hand, so that's fine; I'm pretty sure I don't want a non-stick collection, for various reasons. As I said I'm willing to spend money if it's worth it, and I'd rather spend more to get something good then have to buy new stuff in a decade. I can buy things separately or in a set, and it doesn't have to match. There are some restaurant supply stores and some kitchen stores in town, but the selection is not great; I've gone around testing handles and things and nothing feels too weird or heavy, so I don't need to test it before buying (though it can't hurt).
I guess that's about it, but I'm happy to answer any questions. Thanks in advance for any advice.