I've always felt that you need a mix of non stick and something else. It makes no sense to me to labor over trying to fry an egg in a stainless pan or trying to clean one in which you've made candy.
I think the important issue is having some thickness between the heat source and the food to get some even heating. It makes it a lot easier to cook since you don't have to watch it every second for fear you might have to deal with a hot spot.
I have several pieces of the Berndes Signocast which is cast aluminum with non stick interiors (and exteriors for that matter.) The pans are so thick on the bottom it takes seemingly forever to heat them but they perform quite well. I think the clad stainless is excellent for traditional cookware. I have several pieces of All Clad and of the Calphalon Tri Ply clad stainless. They all perform very well. Even the thin stainless with the clad discs on the bottom perform pretty well. I have some of the Cuisinart of that type which is inexpensive and works just fine.
I think all you really need is some mass between the heat source and the food. It can be pretty and expensive or plain and inexpensive but, if the mass is there, it should cook just fine.