I bought the double burer two sided one that was pre seasoned and well to be honest I dont know if it was me or what but it cooked good but it sucked for cleanup, all the oilwas spilling over not that I used a lot but just in the marinade and then it spills over the side, the other portion of the pan seemed to leave drippings that really messed up my stove top .. so I went and bought an electric grill the cuisinart one about 100 bucks and let me tell you, you want nice burn marks easy clean up no hassel grill this thing is awsome !
I have a smooth ceramic top electric stove and I use cast iron skillets, Le Creuset french ovens and my wok on it nearly every day (not all at once though ). They work great.
There is no functional reason not to use them. The reason they tell you not to is the risk of scratching or cracking the surface. Mfs. don't want to pay for this if under warranty.
On topic ... I had a Le Creuset grill pan that I gave away. Frankly, I found it useless for anything other than putting grill marks on my food. "Grill" pans, IMO, are just skillets that put marks on your food.
I do have an All Clad nonstick 2 burner griddle which I use all the time.
I think you're probably right about grill pans being nothing more than skillets that mark your food. That said, I can see the advantage to a double-burner grill like the All-Clad for when you want to do some quantity cooking. I bought mine with the idea of grilling a few veggies along with chicken or meat...or maybe just a bunch of veggies.
I agree, indoor grill pans don't reall make your food better, they just put cool marks on them. In fact I prefer steaks properly cooked on a frying pan rather than the grill because of the superb browning that you get all over the meat in a flat pan, where as a grill only has stripes of brown, or black. I used to have a grill pan but I used it only a few times and it was a real pain to clean.
My only reason to grill is to be outside during nice weather, or to cook something messy outside so I don't have to clean it up. Grill marks mean nothing to me.
I've got two cast-iron grill pans, made by Bill the Blacksmith, I think. They both weigh a ton but are great for indoor use.
If I want a "smoky" flavour, I sometimes throw some oiled onion skins in the pan then put a lid on it.
As for keeping the pan, I make sure it's lightly oiled before I put it away.
I don't know about Calphalon, but All-Clad's nonstick double-burner grill is not recommended for ceramic/glass top stoves.
Many of the newer glass top stoves have a "bridge Burner" that links two burners back to front just for those grills. However, both allclad and calphalon make fine single burner grill pans for glass tops. Buy two.
I had a cast iron grill in the past that covered two electric burners but still, it had it's centralized hot spots with a cooler zone between them. Not good. When I want to sear terriyaki salmon on a rainy day I use an electric grill with very good results. Love that thing, but still it has to be used under the vent fan to keep the smoke alarms quiet.