Regarding pans: Get a big, solid cast iron pan. It will outlive you by several generations if you treat it right.
One of the most treasured family heirlooms (That has been argued over in wills) is my grandmothers cast iron pan.
Regarding steaks: Watch Chef Ramsay. Notice how little he fucks with the meat. Salt, pepper, let it warm up a bit before you put it in the pan, LET IT REST before you cut into it.
Beyond that, your job is to pick a decent cut. Ask a butcher, tell him you're still learning a fine touch with cooking and would rather not mess up something nice. Let the professionals guide you, but don't let them talk you into buying a big expensive ribeye you don't know how to treat properly just yet.