SS is the most practical cooking surface in terms of cleaning and durability. The issue about food sticking to SS is that we have a generation of cooks brought up on Teflon who don't know how to use the older style equipment, not any fault with SS.
SS is a relatively poor conductor which is why it is best to go for a multiply type arrangement. Of the brands I looked at when I was shopping for my own home use cookware I liked All-Clad and Scanpan the best. I also found the copper clad or copper cored pots and pans to be well worth the additional dollars due to the efficiency of copper as a conductor. Copper clad does require extra cleaning care.
However in addition to a saucepan set I'd also get a cast iron dutch oven, a cast iron skillet and a small copper saucepan. Cast iron retains and distributes heat incredibly well and doesn't lose temperature when food is added. Full copper cookware is incredibly sensitive to heat so it is very good for sauces that require a delicate touch. Both CI and copper are more expensive than regular cookware and require more careful handling so I would only use a few specialised items where I got the maximum benefit from their properties.