There's nothing wrong with Le Crueset -- I have two pieces, and we had quite a few growing up (note -- don't leave water to boil, and then forget about it ... it will melt the enamel after the water boils off, and it will fuse to the stove as it cools ... all because of a failed pot of ramen by a 10 year old) -- but it's specifically enamelized cast iron which is a quite different than regular cast iron, as it doesn't have to be seasoned but doesn't have quite the same properties (and it's much more expensive).
America's Test Kitchen regularly finds a "reasonably priced" runner-up to the Le Crueset or All Clad pan from the set they're testing.
I still have a lot of cooking set that I inherited from great-uncle 15 years ago, and the only reason I don't use all of the pieces these days is because I'm cooking for more than one person, so I had to get some larger pieces. (and I'm not living in an apartment, so have space to store them, other than keeping everything stacked just so and fit like a puzzle in my oven)
I have no idea how old these pieces are, but they were well-used when I got them, and I have no if Farberware has changed their practices, but they're good pans -- not exceptional, but you can get a whole set of decent stuff for the price of 1/2 of a single All Clad piece. I also have a few pieces from Tools of the Trade, that I picked up when I needed some larger pans when I wasn't living on my own anymore -- again, it's reasonably price, but has held up great for the 12+ years I've had it.
If you're going to splurge on anything -- I'd go with a reasonably priced brand (and stay away from non-stick), and then treat yourself to a really nice knife or two.
... oh, and copper tarnishes, and I really hate cleaning, so I'm never going to pay more for something that's then going to mean more headaches for me, no matter how much better it cooks.