I've a set of these I use a lot. Along with what is known as a 'dutch oven'. The trick is to keep the seasoning in the pan in good condition. Under normal use, over time, a black coating develops, which is the seasoning. It reduces sticking and is the original non-stick ware.
Today most skillets come preseasoned. However one of the things they no longer do is to smooth the pan, so you have a lot of pits in the metal. Back in the days of the beginning of the Industrial Age, practice was to grind and sand it smooth as part of the manufacturing process.
Since cast iron never really wears out, you can go into some of the used shops and some times find earlier examples of this for sale. You won't find them for sale new this way.
As long as you don't drop them or shock them with going from hot to cold, they will last you a lifetime.
There's lots of ways to take care of them and to help seasoning along. One of the ways I learned was to just wipe them out, without putting them into water. Next time you cook with it, it destroys any bacterial that might be in it. It allows the seasoning to build up faster. You can also do the seasoning through other methods that speed up the process. I've used the food consumption type flax seed oil before to do this. You wipe the oil in but not thick, put it in the oven and set it at around 250 F until the oil dries out.
One of the main reasons not to use water for cleaning is the water gets in those pores. This is turn creates a condition for rust to develop. If you must wash in water, then don't let it dry out on a dish rack. Instead, put it on the stove again to dry the pores out and then wipe a light coat of oil over it to prevent rusting.