I started to become interested in taking up cooking as a hobby a few years back, and I began to assemble all of the pots, pans, utensils, and implements that I thought I might need as I began to advance my skills. As it turned out, cooking was yet another of many passing interests that I started but never really pursued, however during that time, I did manage to collect some pretty nice cooking gear. One of the nicest items that I acquired was a "Lodge Logic 12 inch, cast iron skillet". This item was given to me as a Christmas gift, because I had expressed an interest in owning a cast iron pan during a passing conversation.
The first thing I noticed upon receiving the skillet was just how heavy it is. I'd say that it has to weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 or 8 pounds, which can make it a little cumbersome to lift and move around while you're cooking. Don't plan on doing many of those fancy moves where you toss the food in the air and flip it around if you're using pan.
Even though I abandoned the hobby aspect of cooking, I still have used this pan several times during normal meal preparation, and it always works great. Once it heats up, it will stay hot for a very long time. Also, it heats up very evenly, and there are none of the isolated "hot spots" that you can get where a thinner pan sits directly against the heat source. In fact, this pan heats up so evenly that even the handle reaches a very high temperature. Be very careful before you grab on to it with a bare hand.
Since the entire pan is made of cast iron, it can happily go from the stove top into the oven, and back again, with no problems at all. I've actually cooked up some great steaks doing that very thing.
Everything I've heard says that these types of pans are extremely durable, and I have no reason to doubt that. There are some specific care instructions to maintain a proper "seasoning" of the pan, but to be honest, I've never really mastered them and my pan seems to be doing just fine. Perhaps it could be even better if I followed the proper protocol... I don't know.
So, whether you're a looking to take up cooking as a hobby, or you just want a durable, versatile pan to help you prepare your daily meals, this is definitely a good choice to add to your cookware arsenal.