I recently got married, and was given an 8in chef cutco knife. It holds a decent edge, but has never been razor sharp. The "comfortable" ergo handle pisses me off because I like to two finger pinch grip my knives and it just gets in the way of my fingers. My requirements are as follows. - a 10 inch chef knife (I prefer the santoku shape) - a pairing knife (currently have a 12 dollar henkle jobby. The steel is absolute crap, does not hold an edge well) - stone or steel for edge maintenance. Japanese steel please I do not have any brand loyalties, generally like a simple tang and grip on my blades and appreciate a thinner well balanced blade. The knives are for serious home use. I am looking for a no BS knife that holds a razor sharp edge well. I don't mind forking out the $$$ for good quality, but I would like some of my $500 left over to spend on a nice solid wood chopping board. I currently have a couple of plastic jobbies, and am getting very frustrated with them skittering all over the counter (even with a rung out moist towel underneath). Links to suggestions, and why you recommend them would be greatly appreciated. I currently live in canada, but have access to a US mailing box. EDIT: After some reading, I have discovered that this stone combined with this stone Should produce an excellent edge. I would really rather go with a ceramic 5000 grit. Does anyone have suggestions that won't break the bank?