Can you be a little more specific about what you consider to be a "set." A home cook with good knife skills would get most benefit from a 10" chef's knife, a 10" slicer, a bread knife, a 5" petty, and a small parer/peeler.
You seem interested in a smaller chef's knife, which usually indicates undeveloped skills. That said, we still don't know which other knives you consider part of your starter set.
If you don't already have a good sharpening system, you'll need to consider its cost when you consider your budget for knives.
The "$100 per knife mark," is all well and good, but not incredibly helpful unless we have some idea of your total purchase budget and what you consider to be a set. For one thing, a chef's knife will be almost twice the cost of a paring knife from the same line. For another, a "quality" bread knife won't give you much more performance than a budget bread knife -- especially if you're not a cake baker. A small parer/peeler can be a great place to cut corners (pun intentional). Even the good ones lose metal so fast from sharpening you might as well consider them disposable -- plus they're the knives which get abused by cutting string, opening plastic packages, cutting cardboard, etc. On the other hand, if you bake a lot of apple pies, you peel a lot of apples...
Neither is great value -- even in their price range. I don't want to seem too negative about either one though. There are legitimate reasons for each to be someone's first choice.
Both have outstanding fit and finish. While handle choice is somewhat idiosyncratic, it's safe to say both have great handles. One of the idiosycracies of the Shun is that it uses a "D" handle and is therefore exclusively right (or you can order left) handed. If you live in a mixed household, you might want to think twice about Shun for this reason alone.
Shun are decorated with a faux "damascus" pattern, they are not true damascus knives. The pattern is aesthetic only and provides no utility whatsoever, despite some of the "non-stick" advertising claims. The type of pattern is called "suminagashi" in Japan, and means "ink on water."
The pattern is applied as a sort of soft, stainless-steel foil wrapping around a much harder steel core. The Japanese refer to this sort of construction as "san-mai," or "warikomi." Respectively, those terms mean "three layers," and "the thrust that goes between" (a term used in the game of go). Sometimes this sort of laminated construction has a utilitarian purpose in that certain core steels are difficult to manufacture as single steel knives, and easier as warikomi, or warikomi can make sharpening easier, etc. However with Shun, as with most suminagashi western profiled knives, the result is more cosmetic than practical.
One of the unfortunate things about Shun is that the suminagashi is extremely soft and scrateches very easily. This means that in the course of normal use the pattern will fade quickly, becoming almost invisible within a couple of years. It cannot be brought back through cleaning or buffing. Indeed buffing will make it disappear all the faster. It can only be restored in an acid bath -- a process which should not be undertaken at home.
Another unfortunate thing about Shun is the profile of the chef's knife. It has a straight topline with a very high point, coupled to a generally "German" style profile with a lot of arc along the entire edge. The topline makes the knife far clumsier than it need be, especially for point work like scoring, onions, etc. The arc gives up agility in exchange for power. Not a good trade off in a sharp knife. But, if you don't keep your knives sharp; or your skill set includes tons of "rock-chopping" (one hand on above the point, another on the handle, rocking your way through the food), you may like it. In my opinion, the better skills you have, the more likely you are to prefer a "French" (flatter, more triangular) profile.
Wusthof also has a German profile, as do a lot of other quality knives -- including Lamson, Messermeister, F. Dick, Vicotorinox, Viking (Gude), Henckels, etc. In fact, these knives are more or less interchangeable. They're manufactured with essentially the same methods, from essentially the same materials, and marketed at similar prices. You'll find that the standard handled Lamsonsharp is the equal of any standard handle, and so on.
These knives are made with one of two steel alloys -- X45CrMo and X50CrMoV15. These are made by a number of companies under license from (I think) Krups. The alloys are tough but not strong -- that is, the edges won't tear easily but they will bend and need a relatively high amount of steeling. However, they wear quickly, need relatively frequent sharpening, and aren't particularly easy to sharpen.
Shun, on the other hand, uses VG-10 steel for its cutting core. VG-10 is made by a Japanese steel company called Takefu. It's a great all-around steel, both tough and strong (doesn't bend easily). It takes a great edge relatively easily,and holds it for a long time. That said, there are other alloys just as good -- 13C26 (Sandvik, Sweden), AEB-L (Uddeholm, Sweden), and G3 (Hitachi, Japan) to name a few.
The French/German profile distinctions are most obvious in chef's knives. From the profile standpoint, there is little if any difference in other shapes. While I may not personally like the Shun chef's knife, I give many props to boning knives and petty/parers from the same line.
Stainless (or more or less) knives from MAC, Sakai Takayuki (Aoki Hamono), Togiharu, Tojiro, Hiromoto, Kanetsuga, and a few other Japanese manufacturers provide much better performance/value than a Shun chef's knife.
Before answering the question directly, let me say, "I doubt it." Preparation is mostly vegetables.
Neither a good boucher nor poissoner (French titles for the meat and fish prep guys on a classic, Escoffier style line ) would chose a chef's knife as either of their first choices. Also, red meat wants a rougher edge with a little bite too it; while fish preps best with a polished edge. If you're sticking with a small, four or five knife set, you'll be doing most of your meat and fish work with your slicer and petty.
If you're going to be doing a ton of meat work, you might want to look at some of the professional profiles from Forschner and Dexter. Especially, a "butcher's" or "cimiter," and a "boning." (A word about boning knives: Their "proper" use isn't breaking chickens, it's reaching deep into large pieces to follow the contours of large bones in order to (a) remove the bones, and (b) create a cut which can be reassembled and/or rolled, then trussed.)
Although it doesn't seem a likely pitfall for you, the Japanese "boning" profiled honesuke and garasuke aren't intended for the sort of boning you're likely to do. A honkatsu, on the other hand is an interesting alternative to a European boning knife (desosseur).
A 5" santoku is a ridiculous choice for all the reasons already given. A 7" santoku is less bad and compensates (a bit) for low knife skills. A 10" chef's knife is more productie than an 8" for a couple of reasons. You might get a little extra versatility from the santoku because its wide profile at the tip makes it a better board knife (scoop) than an 8" chef's. Bottom line: If you have any interest at all at getting good with a knife, the learning curve that makes a 10" chef's knife better than an 8" chef's or a 7" santoku is relatively flat. That is, with minimal instruction and a little thought it takes about a month for the 10" to best the shorter knives by a considerable margin.
For someone in your situation, I recommend one of two knives. MAC Pro 9-1/2" (MBK-95, around $140 at Cutlery and More); Hiromoto G no. 3 at 24cm ($130 at Japanese Chef Knives).
The MAC has a very stiff blade, and an excellent handle -- suitable for any size hand and all grip styles. I love recommending this knife, all the feedback I get is positive. MAC also has an effective presence in the U.S., including a great guarantee. If you contact MAC USA it's likely you can find a dealer in your area for a hand's on "test."
The Hiromoto is a little whippy, but the quality of the blade steel is wonderful. The handle is a little on the narrow side, which means it favors either a soft, "pinch grip" or a medium to small hand. If you have largish hands, and use a tight "pinch," a modified pinch, or a "baseball" grip -- forget the Hiromoto. Other good knives you might like to consider include the Togiharu Inox (not available at 9.5" as far as I know), and Misono Moly (great handle, decent steel).
A word about "try before you buy" testing at a store like Williams-Sonoma, Sur Le Table, etc. To my mind anyway, brief tests are pretty much useless. "Heft" seems like a positive attribute and synonym for quality -- but over the long term is a negative. Handle heavy balance also seems positive in the short term, but for most people becomes negative over time. (That said, Gude's Viking series is designed to be handle heavy and consistently balanced over the entire range. Globals are designed to be consistently neutral.) Plus, nearly all of the very best knives simply aren't available for trial in brick and mortar stores and insistence on an in-store trial forecloses their possiblity. Lots of people insist "try before you buy" is a necessity, and I'm not going to say they're wrong -- merely that there's a controversy.
Before we get specific about sharpening recommendations, we've got to know what's realistic to expect you can do on a regular basis.
Hope this helps,