Upon purchase, my Lodge Cast Iron was fairly rough textured. I thought it would create problems. But after seasoning, eggs slid around in the pan just as well as they do in my old Wagner pans. Also, the cooking surface has become very smooth after just a couple years of use. It didn't take a lifetime of cooking to get the pans smooth.
What I like about the Lodge brand, is the metal thickness. Although it takes longer to heat up than does a thinner pan, it has more thermal mass. That is, there are more molecules in an agitated state (hot metal). That means that more heat can be quickly delivered to the food for a longer period of time before the metal cools.
This is important when adding colder food to the hot pan. It doesn't rapidly cool the pan. Your cooking oil will therefore maintain a more even temperature when frying chicken, or cooking bacon, or a stew. The downside to this is making sure that the temperature is right to begin with. If the pan is too hot, it will burn foods excepionally well.
As with any tool, it just takes time to learn its properties, and how best to use it. It has strengths and weaknesses. But as most of us have learned around here, cast iron is cheap, sturdy, and works very well for most cooking chores. But if you're used to cooking pancakes on a large, teflon-coated electric griddle, you're likely to burn the first few pancakes on your cast iron pan, until you learn how to adjust your stove properly for the item being cooked.
I agree, buy the cast iron. My cast iron pans are the most widely used cooking vessels in my kitchen, though I have many types. I use them fro everything from searing beef to baking pizza, and even use them over charcoal when the meal requires the smoke, but not the direct infra-red heat emitted by the charcoal. It also works great over a campfire, as long as you have something to support its weight.
Oh, and a cast iron dutch oven, with the flat lid can be used when camping to mimick an oven. By placing the correct amount of hot coals under and on the flat lid, you control the temperature and can bake cakes, make casseroles, and bake breads, or coblers. Or, you can make a dandy stew or boiled dinner as well. And then again, it works great in your kitchen oven. Now just how verstile can you get.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North