I recently wrote a long 3-part article
about choosing and caring for knives. I generally prefer German and French knives for first-good-knife sorts of purchases. As the moderator suggested, however, you should skim down through a bunch of earlier threads in this forum to see other opinions; many people here prefer Japanese brands, and there are a number of reasons to prefer one over the other.
In the end, be sure you get the feel of any knife before you buy it, comparing it against others. What matters is not what we or anyone else recommend, but what feels and works best in your hand, with your skills, strength, and habits. Plan to get into a sharpening routine, too -- without it, the fanciest knife in the world will fairly soon be as useful as a cheap piece of junk.