Most dishes that I sautee I don't want leftovers of, as the crispness of the exterior softens, and it's very difficult to properly reheat without overcooking or losing what remains of the browned exterior. Same goes for steamed vegetables. Now something like a soup/stew/braise is totally different. Those things tend to get better
after resting a day or two in the ice box.
Regarding overcrowding the pan, the opposite is true as well. Too much real estate and too little product and you end up boiling what little water exists in the juices and then burning whats left as the temperature is free to increase beyond 212ºF. The fond usually ends up turning black as well as the browned surface doesn't have as much surface contact and the fond absorbs the majority of the pan heat. This is especially true when you transfer the item into the oven to roast at a high-temp or broil. Then when you go to make the sauce, you want the liquid up around 200-205ºF (at a nice simmer) to develop the flavors in the pan sauce. 1/2-C of liquid for one serving spread over a 10 or 12" pan is going to reduce like crazy at that temperature before the ingredients can get their mojo going. In a small 8" pan, you have less surface area and a longer simmering time available.
When cooking for myself, a typical meal is a sauteed 6oz piece of meat browned over high heat in an 8" pan and then tossed into the oven to finish cooking. Beforehand, I'll cube up some red potatoes with a bit of oil, S&P and have those going in the oven (in another 8" pan). Then I'll pull the meat to rest and steam some green beans while I make a pan sauce with the fond/juices from the meat. Whole process including clean-up is usually about an hour, but the first 1/2hr I just have the taters going and I'm off doing something else. So I'll use two 8" pans, a 3qt saucier w/steamer/lid, and thats it. This dish for 2-3 people would see me using my 10" pans and the 3qt steamer setup. For 4-6 people, I would cook the meat in two 10" pans, roast in my large roaster, and blanch the beans in 6qt of boiling salted water with my 8qt pot. More than 6 people, and I won't be making sauteed dishes...