I was apprehensive at first because I can't say that I'd been exposed to much Spanish food in my life. Once in college a classmate brought Paella to share. It was good, but was a little cold from sitting in a bowl during the whole class. I would say I didn't get the whole effect, because the Paella we made at home last week was AMAZING! So far Spain is 2 for 2! I loved the tortilla, and I loved the Paella. What I'm finding interesting about Spanish food so far is that the ingredients are all familiar to me, but when I combine them in the Spanish way, it's a flavor I never expected! (And a very wonderful flavor to boot!) And the ingredients aren't wildly expensive so I can add the dishes to our regular dinner menu!
I know what you're thinking, because Paella has saffron in it which is the most expensive spice in the world. (It has to be harvested by hand, which is part of the reason it is so expensive.) How could Paella, then, be affordable?! Well I admit I didn't make a totally traditional paella because we substituted the saffron with Goya Seasoning with Saffron in it. So it has the flavor but isn't as expensive as buying saffron straight up. I picked mine up at the grocery store, but Amazon has good deals on 3 packs of the Goya Seasoning. When you buy it make sure it says 'CON AZAFRAN' because that means 'with saffron'.
And my last tip is about choosing the right pan. We actually bought a 14 inch wide pan with low sides. It wasn't called a paella pan, but looked like the paella pans I saw elsewhere. The only problem we ran into was we only have a 2 burner electric glass-top stove. The biggest burner we have is about 8 inches wide. As such, the middle of our pan was hotter than the edges. It was not such a big deal and everything did get cooked. We just made sure to stir it often and covered it with foil to keep the heat in. Another way to remedy this is to use 2 smaller pans instead of making one large dish. Whatever works for you, just please promise me you'll make this dish!