I feel like I link a Serious Eats article in response to every topic that comes up in the subforum, but hey, I like the website. Here is their article about their comparisons between All-Clad and Tramontina (a budget buy). I own different pans from both companies, and while I think the All-clad looks nicer and feels a little bit sturdier (plus has a reputedly very solid warranty), the giant square-edged saute pan I have by Tramontina certainly gets the jobs I use it for done nicely.
I forget which brand my Dutch Oven is, but I know it's not Le Creuset. I've had it for a long time, I think my Mom got it for me when I bought my house almost 10 years ago. Has held up great and is excellent for stews, braising, and making pasta sauce. Gets a ton more use in the winter, when I make those type of comfort foods much more often.
If all you're doing is boiling pasta or making soup, you probably don't need a heavy enamel dutch oven, but if you make a ton of stews like Matt mentions, or like to braise, it's a great vessel for that. Matt gave great advice, figure out what type of cooking you want to do, then buy pots and pans for that, Might as well buy decent quality products if you can, but you don't have to get the most high-end brands. I, obviously, enjoy cooking beyond just as a means to eat tasty food, so I do have a ton of different pieces of equipment so that I have a tool for every little itch that I feel the need to scratch. Hell, I have a tortilla press. Basically cooking is what I got into after I stopped playing video games. Boy is that lame. I'm old.