While I am here what is the best knife brand?
You probably ought to avoid uncoated cast iron. It will scratch up your glass. Otherwise, aluminum, disk bottomed or clad ware will all work fine and be good to your glass top.
Do you have any particular preferences for one type over another?
Lodge cast iron may cost more than no-name, made halfway across the world stuff, but I like it. Have a growing collection of CI... EVERY piece came from a yard sale, thrift store or flea market. Many were crusty beyond compare, but cleaned up nice. I stick to Lodge, Wagner, and Griswold and have to SERIOUSLY restrain myself from adding pieces that might produce duplications. My grandmother always used bacon grease on CI. If a piece hadda be "washed", it went back on stove burner until HOT HOT, then a dab of BG wiped around with paper towel.
Much as I hate to say it, Geoff, the answer is "nothing much." These surfaces are pretty terrible. Still, the #1 priority must be solidity: if the bottom of a pan warps even slightly, it will only make point contacts with the surface and you will have enormous hot-spot problems.
For this reason, cast iron is terrific if it's very flat to begin with. On the other hand, as already noted, it will scratch your surface.
I have had good luck with Matfer sauce pans and carbon skillets, but one of my skillets did warp very slightly -- and now it basically just doesn't work on the surface except for super-high heat.
All-Clad seems to work pretty well -- no warping that I've seen, except for the big saute pan.
What little Calphalon I have doesn't seem to warp, although I hate it for most things. Admittedly the one piece I use much is a big stock pot, so that may not be much of an indicator.
My advice is either to go very strong and stop worrying about the surface, or else go cheap and plan to throw pans away with some regularity. Or, better yet, get a new surface. I can't say enough bad things about mine. (I hate the whole stove, actually, a pretty high-end JennAir that came with the apartment, but the surface problems seem to be a function of the style of range rather than the basically awful quality of the stove.)
I had read online that when you take a pan from the heat to the sink it warps no matter how good the pan is. I always wait for the pan to cool before I wash or rinse off. I have a friend who bought a new glass top stove for the looks. She was told to buy a pan with the induction bottom on it for a better connection because they sit flatter against the stove. She likes it so far and she went to Macys to look and found a Circulon brand in nonstick, a anolon steel brand, but that one is online only. They had a sample in the store weird for a online purchase and a Emerilware brand, made by all clad.
Even a 1 inch grill will warp if hot and placed in water. You are correct let it cool first. Inductions are a must on an induction stove, but I would not say they are flatter then other quality pans. I have circulon for my wife, as my commercial pans are to heavy for her. Macy's overprices there pans. Try Home goods or Bed Bath Beyond , better prices same thing. Emiril ? you are paying for name.
I guess it depends on your setup really.
In the restaurant we use high power induction stoves, and the cheapest pans we could find, a combination of Ikea pans and some other low-grade pans. They heat up really quick, and are made of thin steel, this means that their ability to retain heat, and continue cooking off the heat is also extremely poor. But that's fine - When we need to fry stuff during service, they're constantly on a high heat, and things are getting thrown on and off, with oil going on the pan every now and then - No need for a big expensive pan.
At home, different story - I have an old electric stove, and I use Demeyere pots & pans - They're brilliant - just maybe not for the stove that I have. I have trouble keeping them at a good temperature while frying. They tend to go just a tad to cold or hot. This is obviously not the pans fault, but more the stove. That being said, I might be better off using cheaper, thinner pans.
That being said, they are nearly indestructible. They've hardly warped (They are not perfectly flat, nor do they heat completely even) - But that is as much down to the stove as it is the pan - But it's not as good as when I bought them. They haven't been treated kindly though, I often throw them under running water when I'm done using them, and I reckon I'm much, much tougher on them then your regular home cook would be. They are really expensive though, and I haven't regretted buying them one bit, I'm actually looking to buy some more. But keep in mind that they may not be the best choice for you and your kitchen.
Basically, cheap kitchen = cheap pans, expensive kitchen = expensive pans.
If you have a gas stove, or a step less induction stove, you're able to take advantage of the better, more expensive pans. However a cheap ceramic or a regular electric stove, might not be powerful or flexible enough for you to get the most out of those pans. Take that into consideration when choosing cookware.