I'm hoping to get some opinions on whether or not I should be splurging in copper or just getting some good stainless steel pieces. I have been thinking about this for a while and keep going back and forth, so some new points of view would be welcome.
I'm currently living in France, and thus, copper is much cheaper than it is in the US and I'm able to buy it VAT(tax) free, which makes a huge difference. I think it comes to about half or less of what it would cost at WS/SLT. I was thinking of grabbing a large fait tout/cocotte/two handled saute pan and a medium sized splayed sauté pan from E. Dehillerin which carries Mauviel 2.5mm copper/stainless steel stuff.
I have a few pieces of stainless back (saucepans of various sizes) in the US, but I am pretty much starting the kitchen from scratch, so I am quite flexible on what to buy. Although the copper I can get here has great prices compared to the US, I can also get some very good stainless for even cheaper, and am wondering if the copper is worth it. I am also considering Fissler, Demeyere, and Mauviel M'Cook. The Mauviel is mainly because I like the look but it seems to be good quality either way and the other two because they are supposed to be excellent.
When comparing copper to good stainless steel with copper bases, etc., is there really a huge difference in performance? I will be cooking quite a bit and the fait tout/cocotte will probably be my go to to for risotto, making pasta sauces, smaller portions of braising, etc.
I suppose it would also be important to note that I am not a clean freak, so I would not be polishing the copper all the time and a patina is fine by me. Are there any other downsides of copper for me to consider? I will probably be using electric or gas, so the induction non-compatibility is not really an issue at the moment.
Any thoughts on the above would be great - I am also open to new ideas but there seem to be enough already, so if there is something that I really haven't considered that is similar in quality/performance/design, then I would be happy to consider them as well.
Thanks in advance!