My go-to chef's knife is a Mac BK-100. It's a very basic monosteel workhorse blade with no frills. The blade length is 255mm, which is right in the sweet spot for practical working length Current discount price is in the $110 range from any number of sellers. It's definitely not damascus, which in my mind is a real plus, since I don't want to be bothered with maintaining (through polishing and acid etching) any damascus layering nonsense. Like other Mac knives, the steel (which comes from Hitachi and is proprietary to Mac) will take and hold a decent edge. It's the blade which I reach for to work with, not something I want to baby so I can show it off.
Is it my best chef's knife? No. What I consider my finest blade is a Hiromoto honyaki White #2 steel 270mm gyuto, which was one of the last batch of honyaki knives made by Master Bladesmith Futoshi Nagao before he retired (probably as legacy blades). Again, no damascus nonsense and no fancy handle, but something a knowledgeable craftsman would appreciate.
I don't understand the sudden surge of love for aus10. IMHO it doesn't merit the super steel moniker. It has a nice grain and can harden nicely. but vastly overpriced for the performance. VG10 is a better steel properly hardened and quenched. Tends to run a bit coarser grain in most makers hands but still better characteristics.
As to knife design. Lots of belly and glam, less function. Vastly overpriced.