For people on a budget I always suggest Forschner's they are plenty good and darn affordable. Either the Fibrox or rosewood lines are the same except for the handles the fibrox are plastic the rosewood are wooden and need a little more care to keep them in good condition. Depending on what type of cooking you will be doing I would stick with a basic 'set' of
8" or 10" chef's knife $35-$40
several 3 1/2" or 4 1/2" paring/utility knives these can do double duty as steak/table knives and they are only $6 each or so
a 6 slot knife roll should only set you back $10-$15 you can make paper sleeves for the blades or spend a few bucks on edge guards to keep them safely in the roll.
You may want to add a 6" petty/utility if you need it for smaller prep work and if you will be baking bread or buying crusty artisan breads pickup a 10" bread knife
the sharpening thing is hard to master and many chef's i speak with don't even bother doing it themselves. i've practiced it a lot and i do get it sharper than it is when dull, but for $3 i can get it sharpened professionally and it always is better than I can get it.