There's very little that's made these days in cast iron and enamel that can hold a candle to the old pans from before WWII. The alloy used is cheaper. The process used (sand casting) is cheaper than old fashioned casting and leaves a rougher surface. Enameling isn't as robust. Investors are mostly not concerned with a company's long term prospects, they care much more about short term profitability. And the truth is, most people have no idea that there's physical, chemical and related performance differences between old cast iron and most of what's made today, let alone why (it's cheaper and people don't know the difference, which is a pretty depressing set of reasons why, when you think about it.)
I've got a Le Creuset dutch oven and it's a step above the other brands I have tried, but after ten years it's definitely looking a bit worn here and there. Old enamelware isn't like that. Even prestige brands like Le Creuset fall well short.
If you're a foodie, and you don't have an heirloom cast iron pan from your grandma, and you've been making due with a newer Lodge or the like, you do kind of owe it to yourself to try out the real deal for yourself whether you pick up a new made one (word: they ain't cheap) or find one in decent condition at an antique shop or yard sale.
The old style ground and polished pans don't require some kind of awesome seasoning to be even remotely nonstick the way cheap sandcast iron does. You have to inspect them for deep rust or cracks but they're frequently affordable. The surface of these old style cast iron pans is hundreds of times smoother at the microscopic level than it is on the new stuff, which means that when you season it the 'seasoning' doesn't have to fill all these deep cracks and irregularities in order to smooth them out. Enamel in theory gets you past that, but then you're down to the quality of the enamel. Wooden spoons and the like are best, but if someone's warning you not to use one on the pan, I'd say their enamel isn't all that hot.
If you can't find it vintage, you gotta buy it new. If you google you'll find some writeups on the good new stuff that's out there. There's a few brands. I ended up buying a Smithey, and in a word, it is badass. Worth the dough.
But trust me, either way that's the way to go. By the time you've used a GOOD cast iron pan a few times, there's no looking back.
The main difference between ok cookware and great cookware is that great cookware heats evenly. Even heat helps you avoid burning food and it also helps you avoid undercooking it. This is and has been for some time why today's cast iron pans even seem ok to today's cooks -- compared to modern thin aluminum and stainless steel cookware, cast iron heats food much more evenly and safely, with less risk of burning. You can put food in it and let it cook (three quarters of success as a cook is letting your food cook without futzing around with it constantly) and you don't have to worry about constantly stirring things to avoid burning them. HUGE gamechanger for the novice cook, and when when a single piece of All Clad or a similar piece of premium cookware can cost $300 or more, cast iron is really the only way a lot of people can afford a pan with those capabilities.
If you don't have a cast iron pan and you don't have a lot of money, start with a simple cast iron pan. Do your learning that way. But if you already know some things about using cast iron cookware, it's worth making the jump to a premium piece.
I think I might look for one without a glass thermometer gauge built into the side, tho.