Help with cast iron pan?

Hey all. I have a Lodge 12" cast iron pan as well as a pair of small cast iron pans that I inherited from an aunt. The two that I inherited feel smooth as glass across the bottom and are amazing. Hardly anything sticks and they are so easy to clean. The new pan, on the other hand, is rough along the bottom and everything sticks. When I’m done cooking in them, I just put a little oil and kosher salt (a la Alton Brown) and scrub around. I can get most out, but there is still a thin layer of burnt stuff that I just can’t scrub off. Is this normal? Is it going to take a while before it is as good as those other pans or is it not going to get like that?
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Best article on cooking steak that I’ve seen in a while

This is well worth the read. I used to be a grill cook at a top restaurant in Ann Arbor and now I feel like an amateur compared to the guys in the back of the house of Morton’s and Peter Luger.

Here’s the original article if you have a WSJ online sub:

The Search for the Perfect Steak
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Need help stocking a kitchen (Cutlery,Cookware, etc)

I will be moving into a new place soon and I want to get some nice kitchenware. I want to buy quality stuff that I will only need to buy ONCE. I am thinking that I atleast need:

Knife set w/ Steak knives – What is good?
Pot/pan set – What metals? Nonstick?
Quality cutting board – Wood or Plastic?
Blender – Cuisinart?
Mixer – Kitchenaid (artisan or pro?)
Kitchen Tools (shears, and other utensils)
Baking Tools (trays and such) – silicone stuff?
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