Stainless steel is NOT great for heating evenly, and (I believe) T-Fal is a midrange brand so they’re not going to be amazing. Part of the trick to being a good home cook on a budget is learning to work around those problems, though. Your friend’s T-Fal stainless steel will probably make decent workhouse cookware until she’s ready to spring for the pricey stuff. I assume you mean it has a stainless steel surface, not nonstick. If it’s nonstick…I might be wary about keeping it. Having one nonstick pan is handy, but a whole set is overkill and can be more hassle than it’s worth (since nonstick requires wooden/plastic tools and usually isn’t dishwasher-safe, no matter what the label says).
As for my recommendations on furnishing a kitchen:
A 10" cast iron skillet is an essential tool for anybody serious about cooking, in my book. There’s some things that just don’t work half as well without one. Lodge is okay, but the best ones are Griswolds. They’re not made anymore, but they’re easy to find at antique malls and can usually be purchased for under $30.
A cheap stock pot (I like Graniteware for the kitschy look, but it’s not recommended for ceramic ranges so I currently have a $10 Target-brand one) is a must-buy, as well. There’s a million kitchen tasks that call for one, and 99% of those tasks don’t require any real precision so cheapo jobs are just fine.
A four-quart saucepan is also crucial. I like stainless steel, since you can use metal tools and I think the shine makes it easier to see what you’re doing. Having multiple saucepans can be very handy, and either a six or three-quart will come in handy.
Diverging from what’s probably the standard culinary advice for home cooks, I also HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend your friend purchase an “Analon Advanced Ultimate Everyday Pan.” It’s a really awesome pan. Nice nonstick coating, and a shape and size that lets it perform a ton of duties. It’s a solid substitute for a skillet, a wok, or even a saucepan. We received one as a gift, and I was skeptical since it’s nonstick and nontraditional in shape and size, but I’ve quickly come to rely on it as a ludicrously handy tool.
Oh, and a last bit of advice to your friend: the secret I’ve found to PERFECT bacon is to cook it in a 400-degree oven. A toaster oven is actually best, but a regular oven will do just fine. Put the bacon on a toaster-oven-sized baking sheet with raised edges (you can buy one cheap at stores like BB&B). Cook for a few minutes, until the top is a little browned. Pour off fat, flip the strips, and put back in for about as long. It comes out perfectly.