Just about to complete my research in buying a Shun elite chef knife and I read that the elite range is being discontinued !!
Does anyone know why or what range will follow it ?
Many thanks for any info received.
Shun Elite was officially discontinued on Jan 1, 2011. The knives have been and are still available at substantial discount.
The Kaji line is the same thing pretty much, with slightly different cosmetics including a slightly different handle. You'd have to ask Kai (Shun's parent company) whether Kaji is a "replacement" for Elite.
Whichever performance characteristics you want are almost certainly available more cheaply. What benefits do you think you'd get from one of the very expensive, SG-2 Shun knives you wouldn't get from another, less expensive, high-end knife?
FWIW I think the Shun Reserve is basically the replacement. Seems like there's one more coming in SG2 but I don't follow Shun much.
If you're in the U.S., the "ashi (esp the 61hrc s/s ginga)" ruscal mentions is probably most easily found as the Gesshin Ginga from Japanese Knife Imports in Venice, CA (and onlline). I mention that for shopping/surfing purposes; however, we're in the world of "lasers" (super-thin, super-light knives) with that and the konosuke, and you may not want to go there if you're starting from the idea of a Shun. They have advantages but they require a bit of extra care and technique.
There are entirely too many options to even scratch the surface without knowing lots more about what sorts of considerations you might have. If you want a "Rolls Royce" in the sense of a showpiece that guests may recognize, totally apart from performance, then maybe the Shun is a good idea. (I agree with Capsaicin, btw, that it's not "really" that, but what Rolls Royce is all about, at one level, is aura. And Shun has that among non-aficionados. And beyond that, they might fit your tastes perfectly -- we don't know yet).
But I do agree with ruscal, with the caveat about lasers vs something a bit thicker. So long as you know what you're getting into, all of those are good recommendations. You will find repeated recommendations for the Mac Pro if you read through other "what knife?" threads here. That needs to be considered, too. And the budget-recommendation that always comes up is the Fujiwara FKM.
But... as no doubt you'll get an earful about here.... you need a concrete plan for sharpening before any of this makes any sense. That changes everything, and is more important than what knife anyway. (A shibboleth around here is "an expensive dull knife is every bit as bad as a cheap dull knife").