I have to respectfully disagree about the honing with a steel or a ceramic rod. Better use a stone that will slightly abrade the failing steel, instead of rebuilding an edge of fatigued steel that won't last.
Just a few remarks. Haven't used the Carbonext personally for a longer time. Fit and Finish with the JCK Kagayaki Aogami#2 are at a very high level. Handle on par with the Misonos.
JCK's Koki Iwahara is a very serious guy, competent and helpful.
From the review with our German friends I would retain the sloppy grinding.
The reason I suggest the Naniwa Professional series, formerly known as Chosera, is that they are fast cutters, hard, don't wear or dish alot and provide a great tactile feedback. A few strokes will do. Important to a novice as errors are often due to loss of attention.
The Carbonext used to come with a poor edge but this seems to have been adequately addressed.
Within the OP's price range I guess I would take the Kagayaki Aogami #2. Not the thinnest, and don't expect too much from the stone sharpening out of the box. It still will require a bit of thinning and some steel removal before the core's qualities become apparent.
For maintenance use your finest stone. A few edge trailing strokes should do. Honing rods -- steel or ceramic -- all fatigue steel. If you use it after two hours of work, you will have to use it again after a quarter of an hour, and so on. It's an emergency tool.