Any thoughts or suggestions?
Edited by Scaplen14 - 9/26/12 at 12:54pm
As for the 'steel' and stones, you're probably best off getting a Idahone ceramic rod, and the 5 piece set from chefknivestogo.
For the knife, I have a carbonext in the 210mm and I really like it, but I will say that I wish I'd gotten a 240mm, for you to consider. Another option is the Richmond Artifex, which I personally would love to order right now to fill my wish for a 240mm, but the pure cost of postage to England puts me off.
For sharpening, a single waterstone that is 1000/8000 or 1000/6000 will be fine. Lie-nielsen carries a Norton for $65 (their shipping is expensive though). If you plan on dropping your knife or cutting into chicken bones, you should get a lower grit stone for grinding -- ~200-500. Using super 77 spray to glue a sheet of 120-180 sandpaper to a flat surface will also serve as a grinder. Or a real bench grinder.
There are a bunch of good chef's knives around the $140 - 160 price point. Korin's Masamoto VG knife is pretty good. People argue on and on about different steels and such. Blade geometry and handle ergonomics are more important (I think) than steel type, especially when you're picking among a small set of $150 Japanese chef knives that are all made out of similar steels. If you have to sharpen more, then just do it.