I don't think it's quite as simple as you make it, Chico. Right tool for the job, yes, but the problem is that the "job" in the average Western kitchen (home or pro) is very different from its counterpart in the relatively old-fashioned Japanese pro kitchen, for which these knives were generally designed.
The first really big difference is meat and bone. There simply is no knife in the traditional Japanese arsenal that is appropriate for butchering a whole lamb saddle, something the old guard French chefs had to do. Now you may say, "there are certainly butchering knives," and there are, but the pro doesn't want to switch knives constantly: he wants to use the same very few knives for everything, if at all possible.
In the old-fashioned Japanese kitchen, the big three knives (usuba, deba, yanagiba) do everything except a few unusual, special things. If the classical French chef tried to make do with the same trio, he'd either chip them badly or go on a killing spree, because those knives simply won't do what he needs them to do.
For the modern cook in the West, the situation is quite different, for several reasons:
1. Prep and finishing are commonly separated, allowing one to use a different set of knives if desired.
2. The home cook generally uses the supermarket as a prep chef for heavy cutting, such as butchering saddles and stuff like that, so that section of the arsenal is no longer necessary almost ever.
3. Expectations in high-end dining have changed, partly under the influence of Japanese cooking, such that precision cutting matters in a way it didn't in let's say 1950.
4. The advent of high-end Japanese knives has opened a new range of options, so that now it's worth thinking seriously about which practices derived from the knives and which practices prompted a choice of knives, if you see what I mean: it's not just chicken-and-egg.
For example, "right tool for the job" doesn't apply well to butchering whole fish. The standard filleting knife in the West is a very different animal from the Japanese deba. Both do the job, but they require radically different techniques. Which is better? The deba, probably, but even now it is very unusual for a Western culinary student to learn how to use one. If you don't know how, the knife is just an expensive white elephant. What's more, there are types of fish-cutting one sees a good deal in classical French cuisine that are ill-suited to the deba's many strengths: boning sole or skate wing are good examples. Not that a deba cannot do these things, but in many respects the flexible filleting knife does it better. On the other hand, nothing but nothing beats a deba when turning a medium-sized roundfish into fillets.
So which knife is the right tool for the job? You can say that one should pick the deba for the roundfish and the flexible filleting knife for the sole, but that means learning two quite different techniques admirably well. Technique will generally trump equipment. And that means it's probably a better idea to pick one knife and use it for all fish, so that you really master it.
As to the general chipping issue, yes, hard steels chip. Soft steels roll and crush. So what? As you say, how much hemp rope you can cut is meaningless unless the knife is intended for such uses.
How do you avoid chipping? Cutting boards have been mentioned. Beyond that, learn some technique and practice assiduously. A hard knife demands more skill and attention. My favorite extreme example is the usuba: if you don't use it the way it wants to be used, it will chip and roll, which is impressively irritating. But some of the vegetable cutting I saw in Kyoto, done by experts with the usuba, were genuinely awe-inspiring. On the board, it's as good as a gyuto, and then you lift it up and do all kinds of crazy cuts that you'd be hard-pressed to duplicate with the whole classical French arsenal. And then when you finish all that cutting, the thing is still so sharp you can literally shave with it. But to learn how to use that knife effectively takes months of hard labor for a solid foundation, and years for mastery. Compare to a gyuto or chef's knife: how long does it take before you can brunoise a carrot passably? A week, maybe?
"Right tool for the job," yes, but that has to be graded and aligned to the more important factor, "right technique for the knife." I'd rather see a master with an usuba dice a carrot with a blunt combat knife than watch an unskilled moron do it with a razor-sharp high-grade usuba.