I am cast iron all the way. Virtually impossible to damage, they live an eternal life. They are basically the highlander of cookware. Learning curve...? If you have cooked with something, anything other than non-stick then you can cook with cast iron. All you need to learn is the seasoning process. Which is only difficult initially. After the initial season, you season lightly after each use and you and your descendants are good to go for the next century or two.
They can be used in the oven, they can be washed... Even with SOAP! GASP, the horrors. The beauty of cast iron is not even rust can kill it. I have picked cast iron pans out of scrap heaps and brought them back to life for people.
Do not be afraid, come to the iron side.