A steel is only for a touch up on your edge, it is not for primary sharpening. While it will keep an edge in good shape for longer there will come a time you will need a set of stones or one of the sharpening systems.
Today I made a new discovery on the victorinox, I have two students in my kitchen and both have Vic's (The one with the plastic handle, wich are the classics, and also the ones that I own) and the grips, wich are black originally, have developed some kind of white-ish coloring, I asked them what happened, and they say that they don't know, but once I asked if they have ever put it in the dishwasher (wich I have never done with any of my knives) they said yes/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif, I can't tell you for sure if that is the problem or the materials on the latest ones have changed, but the blade looks the same as it was 15 years ago... Battlehorse quality and very reliable.
I don't know if someone else have experienced such problem?
That's about as good a knife as you'll find for the price. As others have mentioned, a steel is really just for touch-ups, not full on sharpening. The frequency with which you'll need to actually sharpen it depends on how much use it gets, the type of tasks you perform with it, your technique and what you cut on. For maintaining it at home I often recommend the Edgemaker Pro: http://edgemakerpro.com. It's easy to use and inexpensive. If you use it frequently you can probably get by with just the Yellow one for $10 or so (free shipping).