Yes. Not only are they durable and attractive, they cook evenly and perfectly every time. Worth th the money. Come to Pittsburgh for the semi annual sale at the county fairground. You'll get everything for 70-85% off.
I would say _absolutely_not_
All Clad is a pleasure to cook with, don't get me wrong. I have several of the (standard) pans myself and one of the copper core (bought on sale at TJ Maxx). I absolutely advocate buying quality over cheap when it matters.
But is your soup or scallopine going to be $150 better for the copper? No. To cook evenly and perfectly learn more about cooking (and how your stovetop/oven works).
Then again I enter Williams-Sonoma and roll my eyes at 80% of the overpriced overhyped stuff that's in there - and still can't find a whisk as good as one you can get in the restaurant supply store for 25% the cost.
I agree with sarah.reinertsen. I have several stainless All Clad pots, all bought at considerable discount as irregulars, which are terrific and a pleasure to use. I always check at TJ Maxx for cooking tools and pans (not to mention terrific deals on tea, saffron, vanilla, jams). I suggest buying one of the copper All Clad pans at a steep discount and put it to the test. See how you like it. It is really easy to be swayed by the hype.
Also to consider, All Clad has several lines, some of which are tri-ply (which means that the conductive material that is embedded between the stainless steel [sometimes copper, sometimes aluminum, etc.] goes ALL the way from edge to edge, it is not only a disc on the bottom). Tri-ply pans really do help with temperature control through your whole pan, rather than having greatest heat only on the bottom surface. Another thing to consider is how you cook and the weight of the pan. I have a gorgeous 14-inch All Clad but didn't stop to think about flipping mushrooms (which I typically do one-handed with a flick of the wrist), if my spatula isn't handy I'll flip two handed but it's not the same, I wouldn't buy the same pan again for this reason. I guess I'm recommending buying one pot/pan at a time, rather than a set because the pros and cons change with the different sizes and shapes and what is good for one task may not be the best for another.
Here's a link to a lengthy discussion of different brands, with a long answer towards the end that looks at this question. The link was given by a food52 staffer answering a recent question on Hotline --
Would like to know the date of the sale in Pittsburgh.
Some of my all-clad pans are over thirty years old. I don't think the embedded copper is worth the price, but there are is a four quart soup pot in the copper clad series that would look great even on the table. You'll have to have the time to clean the exterior copper finish, though. On ebay there are vendors for factory seconds at about half price.
Most of my everyday pans hang from a rack on the kitchen ceiling, and I find that having just a couple of copper pieces in the group jazzes up the whole lot, without being too pretentious.
Not form me. My basic All-Clad are several years old and just as great as the first day. I do have separate copper pots for other uses and that's how I would buy copper.
All clad seconds sale June 1, 2 at the washington county fair grounds. Look it up on www.washingtonfair.org.