After reading all the comments on the gift-registry post, I remembered what my mom did, back when I was 10 or so, and she had gotten thoroughly tired of eating off the ugly plates she and Dad had gotten as a Kmart Special when he was in grad school: she registered for (everyday, not china) plates and silverware and passed that around to the family, so for three or four years she got various bits of place settings at various gift-giving occasions. Worked quite well! XD
She'd actually had china from her wedding registry, but it was too good for daily use and boxed up in the attic for most of my life. I'm not sure I ever ate off it.