Fried foods are staples in southern, comfort food cooking, but you will find the need for a good frying pan in many other recipes. Think orange chicken, tempura, hush puppies, etc.
Turn down the heat when using glass or best ceramic pan. This type of cookware retains heat better than metal, so you should not need to turn the heat up as high.
A flat whisk, sometimes referred to as a Roux whisk, has the loops arranged in a flat successive pattern. It is useful for working in shallow vessels like skillets (in which a roux is normally prepared).
A makeshift whisk may be constructed by taking two forks and placing them together so the tines interlock and make a cage. This is far more effective than a single fork at incorporating air into a mixture.
Aluminum cookware does exist without the Teflon coating. Aluminum is a very light weight metal that will allow you to easily manage multiple pots and pans at once. Aluminum is not only convenient, but makes great tasting food.
Stainless should be high quality; the cheap stuff is usually too thin to conduct heat reasonably. The best have bottoms made by wrapping relatively thick stainless steel around a core of aluminum and/or copper; the combination conducts heat regularly, prevents warping, and minimizes burning. These pans should be fairly heavy. If not, keep searching.
As you can see, there are a number of options available when it comes to non stick cookware. You may want to go with the tried and true cast iron that has been around for many, many years. On the other hand, you may want to opt for something a bit more modern and go with cookware that has been coated with special nonstick substances. No matter the choice, be sure to consider the pros and cons of each type before you make your purchase.