I may be a little late to the party but this is what it says on the Lodge website: they stopped polishing the cooking surfaces of the pan because it was not necessary. I have two signature series fry pans and have zero problems of regrets with them. There is no other difference in how the pans are made today vs how they were made for the last 100 years.
there is a new series out called KitchenCue. There are only 3 dvds out so far but it is exactly what I was looking for in cooking technique. Chef Shelly Kark does a great job and the layout of the dvds include how to macth wines and ingredients and many other components of cooking. The three that are out so far are Sauteing, Soups and Roasting.I definately recommend them. www.kitchencue.com