Restaurants use cheap aluminum pans because they get very high use, not because they're the best option for home cooking. I received a set of cheap Farberware pans as a wedding gift and used them for over 20 years. I never did like them much. I bought an All-Clad stainless steel saute pan on the recommendation of Cooks Illustrated and could not believe how much better my cooking was. It's still my go-to pan, although DH gave me a set of Calphalon pans for Christmas several years ago. Quality matters.
I have a gas stove, so I don't know the "rules" regarding flat stoves, but if you can use cast iron, you should be able to use stainless. I only use non-stick for eggs and crepes. Learn to make pan sauces and you won't care whether something sticks