UPDATE: Well, I finally got in contact with my former classmate from college who is going to graduate school in France, and I got a Blue Point Fissler pressure cooker shipped to me! As I expected, it performs wonderfully, doesn't scorch food even under high flame, and is dishwasher safe! I also bought a big Fagor pressure cooker because of the low price, and I have to say, you get what you pay for! the steam release mechanism is cheap, leaks water all over the stove, the base is too thin, and it just feels like it's lower quality. Nonetheless, I have taken to pressure cooking nearly every day, whether for steaming veggies, making a stew, rice, or pot roast! Why, oh why, hasn't America re-embraced the pressure cooker?