Having to import products from a PIM solution and seeking recommendation on the best way to handle attribute_set. Would this typically be mastered in PIM and extracted or is there any other suggestions?
By attribute_set, I guess you might be referring to Family in PIM. On Akeneo PIM software, you can easily create families which consist of an attribute set and create a product belonging to a particular family.
You can even assign the product to one or multiple categories in PIM and once you are done with the product information, you can export it to your Magento Store using Magento Akeneo Connector