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I am not a professional chef, but I do enjoy cooking, and both my fiance and my father are in fact chefs by trade. I find that I am MUCH pickier about my cookware than they are! But we all use various good stuff - it is just that all of it is good stuff. My dad and my man run to the Henckels and the Boker ceramic paring knife, while I like the Henckels, the Wusthof and the Sabatier. We use All-Clad and Calphalon and Analon, but my father and I enjoy cast-iron skillets (and yes, Le Creuset, but it doesn't have to be) just as much. I recently tried Sitram and was pleasantly surprised. As for appliances, I got a fabulous deal on a Garland (Canada-made) real commercial range, 6 burners... it meant retrofitting the kitchen in our 1890's row house to accommodate a commercial range (things like tactile heat and hood), and the commercial ranges aren't convection ovens, but I could not be happier.