One of the first things I bought specifically for my new house was a cast-iron skillet. This Lodge 10.25" cast-iron skillet to be exact. That link goes to the Amazon product page, but if you're interested in getting this pan, it's available all over the place. Walmart has it for about the same price as Amazon (about $16) – I got mine from a kitchen outlet store, where it was mislabeled with the 8" skillet price, I think it was $10 or $12.
In the past 2 months I've used it almost exclusively, and have cooked: brats, burgers, steak, bacon, eggs, pancakes, hashbrowns, and probably several more things that I can't think of at the moment.
The hashbrowns were really the only thing that gave me any trouble – they stuck to the pan like crazy – and I think that was because I had no idea how to make hashbrowns from scratch. I definitely didn't get enough of the liquid out of the potatoes after shredding them. I completely dulled the edge of a Farberware spatula (I think they're nylon?) – it just didn't hold up to the severe unsticking I was trying to unleash. That was the motivation needed to purchase this OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Turner. I think it was only a few dollars more than what I paid for the Farberware spatula, but this thing is a perfect match for a cast-iron skillet.
Anyway – pan, spatula, exciting post.