First time on these forums, and I've been reading quite a lot of other peoples questions regarding knife recommendations, and I thought I would see if I could get some help working out which might be the best knife for my next purchase.
First, a little bit about myself. I'm an Australian 30 something IT professional who has a serious passion for home cooking. A couple years ago I almost made the decision to change careers and move into the culinary world. However finances and an the arrival of our first child with my wife made me choose the stability of my current profession over the passion of doing what I love.
I currently own a big heavy Wushtoff that I purchased many moons ago and have loved and owned for a while but then to my dismay the inevitable happened and it became dull, go figure (sarcasm). I own both a diamond steel and a whetstone but if I'm honest with myself, I think I need more practice. With an hour of effort I can barely put even a servicable edge back on my Wusty.
A couple of years ago, my lovely wife purchased me a set of globals as was the flavour of the month at the time. Very light weight, very sharp, and I enjoyed using them for a while. However soon thereafter I started noticing that I had nicked the blade, quite badly in some places. Even after sharpening I have been unable to restore the original edge.
As for how I hold the knife, I use a pinch grip as taught to me by a friend that I consider knowlegable in the industry. This grip at first was uncomfortable until I developed a sizable callus on my palm at the base of my forefinger. Now I couldn't imagine holding a knife any other way. I enjoy the control I have over the blade with this grip.
I am a large man 6'3" with big hands, so I'm probably after something at least 24cm in length. I am also right handed (as is my wife, although truth be told I do 95% of the cooking so she won't be using the knife really). I have been comfortable both with the Heavy German Wushtoff as well as the lightweight Global, both of which took a little adapting to but were fine after a couple of months use.
The kind of knife work I will be doing will pretty much be the day to day stuff, vegetables, fleshy meats (no bones). I will probably also look into buying a decent boning knife as well as something heavy weight for the less delicate work of cutting through bone.
I'm not afraid of sharpening my knives, although truth be told I really need some more instruction in the art as I do not believe that I am very good at it. I'm worried that if I buy a new knife that I may ruin the edge due to incorrect sharpening, but that's just paranoia I'll get over.
Budget - no object really (within reason). Happy to lay down anything up to 500 as long as its worth it, which I've been lead to believe that more money does not necessarily equate to a better knife, but I'm happy to shell out the excess if need be.
I guess what I'm after is something that will keep a decent edge, be relatively easy to sharpen and be durable.
I'd really like to delve into the Japanese knife market, but unfortunately although I can access almost any knife imaginable online, the knife stores down under are *very* westernised and the closes thing to an asian knife that I can touch and feel is the not so trusty Global. This means I have to go off recommendations alone.
Knives I've currently got my eye on include the Misono UX10, The MAC Professional, Shun Classic 25cm. But I'm certainly open to more suggestions based on the above background information.
Anyway, sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have for a keen aussie cook.