The chowhounders had been sourcing the Carbone pans from
Supposedly the Mineral is mostly just a better finished version of the Carbone. I am unsure why you dislike the Mineral line, but it's what many of us here own, and I assure you it's performance is not lacking.
What's the difference between the lines?
DeBuyer pans rule. I have a 12" mineral and 9.5" blue steel. Not sure why you're opposed to the mineral, it's thei top of te line series and is thicker. They are slightly more expensive but it'll all last forever. Get anything you can get your hands on and you'll like it
I really like my De Buyer pans, I have some Force Blue, the only pans I like more are Falks. Falks are like magic, but they are so damn expensive, De Buyers are a good choice, cheap, durable and better than alot more expensive stuff.
How good are they on glass cook tops? Every pro kitchen I've seen that uses carbon pans does it over gas, and they are so well seasoned I can't imagine them ever sticking. Do they tend to warp over higher heat (which would kill them for a glass top but have no effect over gas)?
Nice. I'm trying to slowly replace all the wedding-gift 18/10 pots and pans that we've owned for 16 years (Tramontina and Lagostina, all Brazilian-made). I had a nice Meyer commercial NS pan for easy day-to-day use that got warped after about 12 years on our old, post-war coil range, as well as a couple of Circulon and Calphalon commercial NS that I now use with care on the Ceran top. But I've been taking my time about getting new searing and saute pans, and a new sauciere.
My wife hates all my "over-priced" kitchen stuff, and when she caught me looking at the All-Clad and Faulk sites a couple of weeks ago she said, "I'll kill you." :D But I still want a copper sauciere...
Hey, she can only kill you once!
Depending on what you cook a lot of, I'd look at the 10.25" Force Bleu crepe pan. I, personally prefer the low sides on the crepe pans better than the twice as high Lyonnaise pans. I'd get it in the smallest, largest and the country pan in a big effer size. For like a hundred bucks, you'll be set.