Chef knives for groomsmen...
I like the way you think! I gave my best man a scrimshaw pocket knife as a gift.
No matter what brand or who you buy from I'd suggest a 240mm Gyuto and there are several very nice choices in your price range.
The other option if you wanted to buy American would be http://www.lamsonsharp.com/ Watch the sale page!
Congratulations on the wedding!
Chairlady - yea that was my main concern, I relally wanted to give them something useful and enjoyable. Hopefully this fits the bill...
Cuff links? Really? Lol:D
What an awesome idea!
I'm with duckfat that you should go for a chefs knife/gyuto of around 240 mm. Since it seems they all will have varying degrees of knowledge when it comes to knife upkeep, I think something like a mac pro chefs knife might ft the bill. Its not a knife that a forum full of knife geeks are going to get worked up about, but its almost definitely going to be a huge upgrade for all your groomsmen and will be relatively easy to maintain. It also fits nicely in your price range.
The problem with higher end knives as gifts is the need to sharpen; but your group seems to have that figured out.
You're going to have to make a choice between Japanese performance and Euro resilience. Since your friends probably already have decent Euro type knives which can be kept for heavy duty tasks, you may want to go Japanese type.
I suppose you'll want to stick with western style handles, though.
I like MAC Pro (not with the dimples, though) quite a bit as a very versatile chef's knife that's quite Japanese in its agility and edge taking and holding properties, but nearly western for its stiffness and robust character. More, MACs are extremely well supported in the US, and have an exceptionally good warranty. Shun and Global have good support as well, but unfortunately their chef knives suck. I'm not really familiar with Miyabi's offerings in your price range.
For obvious reasons, I'd stay away from anything too exotic unless your buddies are already knife mavens.