Aww, shoot! I was hoping to get personally picked on!
Thanks BDL, I appreciate the additional clarification that you were able to add to my (very) brief suggestion! I guess I'm happy to know that my inexperienced approach to sharpening has yeilded such positive results for me since I started hand sharpening only three years ago. Like most things in life, there's always lots to learn along the way! Maybe I use a lot less pressure when I sharpen - who knows? I can say that I had very minimal dishing after a half dozen sharpening sessions (3 knives each session) when I finally got my flattener. I'll admit that my experience is limited to my equipment only. By extension, my references to grit sizes are based on the grits I own.
For clarification, the "1000 Suehiro" from Mike's Tools is actually a Splex stone, so it's the same manufacturer (& 'level of quality') for both that one & the 1200 grit. Sorry I forgot to mention that! No, they're not 'top-of-the-line' stones; probably comparable to King stones & a few dollars less expensive. But they're half the cost of Besters (from CKtG), & if you're not sure you'll want to keep at this sharpening-by-hand thing... The 6000 Suehiro seems like a great deal to me, but I'm sure there may be comparable deals out there that I don't know about.
I should add to my earlier response by saying that my point of view is usually geared towards seeing if someone is committed to the new (to them) world of hand sharpening. Lord knows I've spent far too much money on new hobbies, only to find out that I wasn't really as interested as I thought 'd be. I certainly don't want to become a knife user with a collection of expensive sharpening equipment that I no longer like or use! So when I got started, I chose the path of least expense. It's worked out very well for me, as my meager collection of mismatched stones allows me to put a nice edge on everything from my 440A Cutco santoku (don't judge me - it was a gift!) to my VG-10 Kanetsune gyuto, to my friend's 40 yr old carbon Sabatier chef's knife. Because of my (personal) success with this approach, I sorta cringe any time I hear someone getting ready to plunk down gobs of cash when all they really need to get a good edge is a single, affordable stone.
So, to give everyone a better idea of where I'm coming from, here's what I own for hand sharpening equipment:
1) Splex 1000
2) Ohishi 3000
3) Suehiro 6000
4) Sidewalk chalk
6) Spyderco Medium ceramic
7) Spyderco Fine ceramic
8) Arkansas 'surgical black'
9) Large deerhide strop (6"x22") on oak, CrO waxed
10) Small deerhide strop (3"x22") on oak, nekkid
11) Hard felt 'furniture' pad
12) Wine corks
13) Norton flattener
14) Eye loupe
Typically, the harder VG-10 knives (Kanetsune & Shun) get sharpened on the water stones, while the softer knives (Cutco, Forschner, Foshan) see the Spyderco ceramic bench stones. Just my way.... Also, I rarely strop the softer knives on the small strop. I never use the 'surgical black' any more (same finish as the Spyderco Fine ceramic, but way slower), & since I now have a 'real' nagura chalk stone I no longer use the sidewalk chalk for making mud.
Thanks for listening....