Hi guys... Here I am asking one of the most frequently asked question in a forum: "WICH....ITEM SHOULD I BUY?" Before reading this and another forums, I tought that the Shun's were the greatest knives on earth, but the more I read the more I see that I was happily living in ignorance and being a victim of marketing, I'm not saying that I don't like anymore the Shuns (Actually I'm still in love with them, but getting open to more suggestions because I see that there is a whole world of better knives and so many others that offers the same quality or maybe a bit more for the same price, or even cheaper) I've been reading a lot trough this forum and I already got some very interesting ideas and Chris gave me some new imput. Here's a bit of background on who I am, what I want and what I need, I'm coping/pasting this from my post "VG10 VS SG2 Steel" that was kindly replied by Chris. I own some chef's knives, and I want to try something totally different, I have a wusthof, a Henckels, a Victorinox, Tor-rey, Tramontina, (these last two are latin battlehorses comparable to Dexters and Victorinox in quality) a KAI, a Dexter, an Ojeda (A locally made knife from a little town named Sayula, and is great, but so beautifull and with a mirror like shine, that I prefer not to use it , but it cuts like an scalpel http://www.ojedacuchillos.com/en/productos/mango-tradicional-sencillo.html) ,a chinese cleaver that I bought while working in china in a flea market for something like 50 US cents that cuts like a razor blade but it gets rusty on a dayly basis, so bad that I consider it a health hazzard to use ,and a Global too... This last one is the guilty of turning me into Japanese style knives. As you can see, I started thinking only in Shuns, the regular VG10 or the Elite class, made with SG2, but I'm getting more opened and looking for something else within the same kind of budget $200 +/- 10% and ready to spend 60-80 USD on a new stone. For sharpening I own a minosharp whetstone 1000 grit, and a ceramic whustoff rod and I'm open to suggestions on what to add according to the knife that I buy. I want a japanese one, with some "uniqueness factor", and so far this are the ones that I have in my list because they are different to everything else that I own, but since my experience is zero with any of them, I'll like to have the imput of people like you that have much more experience than me on the subject. I have nearly 20 years working in the kitchen and I'm the guy that sharpens always with the same technique, that I learned by myself on trial and error and that doesn't do a very bad job, but to be honest, I can't get a knife razor sharp consistantly, they are always very sharp for the regular use in the kitchen, but I want to become a "Knife and sharpening aficionado" (On a budget at first) , ok, here I go with my wish list: Tojiro hammered Tojiro Damascus Shun premier Miyaby 7000 damascus Kasumi Damascus Kanetsune Hammered And the Mac, that to be honest, I don't like it, but I hear only great things about this one, and so good that I have to get on my list, the reason that makes me dislike this one, is because it reminds me a German on the looks department and I don't see any uniqueness in the looks... Wich I hate to accept... But it matters a lot to me. And this one is the guilty of my curiosity on the SG2 steel, and also a contender if you guys consider that it worths it's price I've learned that looks are not the most important... And the hard way... I've owned a 1200 GS BMW brand new motorcycle that was stunning, people stopped me to ask me on it...But It was very high maintenance, too heavy for urban use and now I ride a 150 CC that looks like a toy compared to the beemer, but is a joy to ride and conmute. I had the stunning hot girlfriend, model like, but pretty much like the beemer... High maintenance, drama queen, bossy and troublemaker.... Now I date a cute and a bit chuby girl (God forbid if she ever reads this post! and sees that I said "chuby"/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif) whom always have a joke, an interesting conversation and a very outgoing attitude, she's a keeper. I'm a hunter too and I can tell you same thing about my rifles, shotguns and bows, I'm a dancer and I can tell you the exact same story on the dancing shoes, a 60 bucks pair perform and look pretty much like the 260 USD Pair (I'm still a lousy dancer no matter how fancy my shoes are /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif) ... That has been the story of my life, always learning the hard way , wasting money, time and effort and based on the looks, now I want to be a bit more mature and ask before messing it big time. I don't want to own a 200+ knife and after a few days later (or hours) go back to my old cheaper battle horses./img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif Okydoky guys, seems like I did a bit too much on the talking department, now I want your opinions, feel free to give any advice based on experience or even to bash me a bit /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif Luis J.