I think that the kits schools sell are a great idea. Yeah, they may not be the best knives around, buy hey, you are also learning. You are going to abuse those knives until you learn proper knife and sharpening skills. Why ruin top of the line knives like that? Sure, many kits will throw in some things you might never need, but at least you have them if the need never arises. I would buy the kit, and then, over time replace them piece by piece. The added bonus is that as you replace them with better knives you now have a set of knives you can abuse, doing things like breaking down carcasses, cutting up sugar cane, or handing out to fellow cooks who are in need.