Plan on putting together an appropriate sharpening system as you put together your new knives, and budget accordingly. This is going to go somewhere north of $200, but you don't have to spend it all at once.
What chefhow said: Nenox are out of your price range. Nice, but forget about them. Korin doesn't make Western knives under its own name anymore. They market Togiharu knives, more about them later. MAC might be an excellent choice for you. More later.
What buzz said: Kikuichi use a variant of VG-1, not VG-10. They're good, but not excellent knives. On the other hand, their carbon Elite series are excellent (for the money) -- if you're considering carbon.
The Kasumi knives, are essentially Shun Classic, i.e., a VG-10 core laminated in a cheap suminagashi, san-mai
cladding. The core steel is very good quality, the heel a little thick, the cladding will scratch very easily and the pattern will disappear. Better geometry than the Shun, and overall better than the Shun. Considering the other competition, the only good reason to buy the knife would be if you really loved the handle.
A word about carbon: Carbon in the professional kitchen is not for everyone. It's not that big a deal either. Ordinary, good habits are all that are necessary to deal with the corrosion and staining issues; otherwise it takes and holds a better edge and returns more and better feedback in the cut. I grew up with carbon in professional kitchens, used it catering, and still use it in the home. Over the years, I've certainly had my share of stainless, and much prefer carbon. But if I were in your shoes, moving into my first line slot in a high end kitchen, I'd stay with stainless for the time being. Why create issues?
Like you, I've got big hands and have always considered this an issue in choosing knives. However, the last couple of years I've really dissected my grip and worked hard to perfect it. Most of the adjustment has come from further relaxing my already soft grip -- especially the back three fingers. The better the grip gets, the less the handle seems to mean. This isn't advice, so much as an observation. Here's advice: Get a knife that screams "comfortable" right now.
European Knives: When it comes to the chef's, don't bother. This is not meant to "dis" the German knives -- they're very good, will serve you long and well, so on and so forth. But this is an exercise in choosing the "best," and not the "good enough." Japanese knives get much sharper, stay sharper; they are also significantly lighter -- all of which go to efficiency and fatigue. Furthermore, once you're into the "star" level of kitchen, you just don't see a lot of German steel anymore; it will make you look like a chump.
MAC Professional: This has been a favorite of mine since it came out. Extremely comoftable knife. Perhaps the best handle in the trade. Very stiff blade, if you like that -- and at garde
you probably like it a lot. Good quality steel. Takes a very good edge, holds it well.
Togiharu G series (Korin): I've never used these personally. I'm told they might as well be Masamoto VG, at a slight discount.
Masmato VG (Japanese Chef Knife): I love Masamoto. You pay a little more, you get a lot more quality. There's never anything wrong with a Masamoto. Great everything. Uses a solid VG-10 (not laminated) blade. Like all VG-10 knives, takes an excellent edge with excellent retention properties. The one knock on this knife is that it's a little flexible.
Hiromoto G3 (Japanese Chef Knife): Handle on the small, slender side. (I bought a set of the AS, which has the same handle, and despite the size found it very comfortable.) Going back to the G3 (ginsan-ko), it's basically VG-10 from a different steel manufacturer. Overall, the knife is an excellent blade at an excellent price. Nicely styled, too.
Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef (Seito Trading): Made with AEB-L steel. Will take the best edge, and hold it extremely well. The overall knife quality is excellent and the ergonomics are too -- although not quite as good as Masamoto or MAC. If you're on the west coast, there are several knife stores in LA's J-Town who carry Takayuki so you can wave it around and pretend to chop if that's as important to you as it is to most people. Here's a link to the catalog: ???????????
Any other questions, just ask. The more specific you can make your questions the more likely you are to get useful information back. Pay especial attention to buzz.