I want to expand on one point; don't ever fall into the trap of prizing a knife too much to use it. I myself have done this in the past and cheated myself out of a lot of the pleasure to be had in owning & using fine knives. By all means, treat them with respect but don't be afraid to use them.
Sharpening. Yes, ultimately every knife will get dull. The only way to prevent it is to refrain from using it. As BDL says, all dull knives are basically equal. I'll qualify that a bit- a very thin dull knife will still cut better than a thick dull knife, but I'm quibbling. For starters you can get a good ceramic steel and spend a bit of time learning to use it; this you should do. Ultimately it just postpones the inevitable (ie sharpening) but it's a useful step.
I wish I could tell you there was a great shortcut to getting your knives sharp, but there isn't. There are gadgets you can use but most are useless. There are 2 great options, each with advantages and disadvantages, and at least one "okay" option. I'll start with the great ones:Learn to freehand sharpenPros:
1) You can use any type of stone.
2) You can sharpen any edged implement.
3) You don't need a lot of equipment.
4) You can get a superb edge.Cons:
1) There's a steep learning curve. Rubbing a knife on a rock will sharpen, but it takes a lot of practice to get really good.
2) It takes some coordination, not unlike playing an instrument or participating in a sport. Not everyone is equally "talented", and some will find it frustrating.
3) IMOHO, very few people every really get great at freehand sharpening.
4) Frustration can set in, causing you to abandon practicing.Buy an Edge Pro or GizmoPros:
1) Simplicity: A guided system removes one of the greatest obstacles to getting a good edge, namely the need to hold a steady angle.
2) Consistency: The EP will allow you to maintain a precise angle over the whole blade, and reproduce this every time you resharpen.
3) Shorter learning curve. Using an EP isn't like putting popcorn in the microwave and hitting START...you actually do have to know how to sharpen. But you'll find the learning curve is much shorter.
4) Superb results. You will get a screaming edge with a minimum of practice.Cons:
1) Price: An EP will set you back a couple hundred bucks, and more for extra stones.
2) Limited stones: This isn't a major problem for most people for whom getting a good edge is more important than building a stone collection. While there are some aftermarket Shapton and Naniwa stones available they're more expensive. Most people will choose to live with the stock ones. Luckily there's also the glass tape blank...
3) Limited snob appeal: There are some who think if you aren't suffering, it ain't art. If you're one of those people, take a pass on the EP and get some wet rocks.
If you opt for a mass market knife from Wusthof or the like, there's one other "good" option: The Edgemaker Pro.
I've used them for years on German knives, as well as sporting knives. They're the only pull-thru sharpening I'd recommend. They're pretty gentle and don't remove much metal and are easy to use. They're not the last word in sharp, and you won't mistake the edge for one fresh off a 10,000 grit synthetic waterstone, but you get a very serviceable edge. An EMP-sharpened blade will shave hair and fillet paper (assuming a decent knife), and is about as much trouble as I feel Germans are worth, no overt snobbery intended. The main virtues are price and simplicity; the entire set is $30 with free shipping and they're dead simple to use. They have some limitations, though. Some very thick blades won't work well, and the angle is basically preset. But used properly you'll get a good edge and maximize the life of your blade.