Pieces With Honor
Really, it's 13 pieces if you count the box.
Look, we play the game. Everybody does. You have to call it a "12-piece set" even though it's actually seven pans and five lids. If you don't, somebody else will, and they'll get all the sales. It's not a question of right or wrong. It's a question of survival.
Sure, we'd love to live in a world where it was enough to just say "these seven Cuisinart pots and pans are made of durable, high-quality stainless steel and will bring you years of cooking pleasure." And it would be nice to live in a world where microwave lasagna actually looked like it does on the package, but that isn't the world we live in.
And who's to blame, ultimately? You are. Maybe not you personally. But the customer is the one who votes with his dollars for a "12-piece set" instead of a "set of seven pans, five of which have lids." If you want that to change, start with the customer in the mirror. Until that day comes, don't hate the pieces - hate the game.