Using a heavy cleaver for general prep, e.g., "mincing garlic," is not a good idea if it can be avoided. It's hard to get a really good, long-lasting edge on a thick knife, so you're always behind the eight ball when it comes to sharpening, and the weight is not only hard on the cook, but very bad for the board.
Even though they have similarly wide faces, not all Chinese "cleavers" are the same thing as "meat cleavers." Many, including those intended for general prep are much lighter. Those intended for chopping through bone are much heavier, and rather like a western meat cleaver.
Chef Kenichi's "cleaver" was nothing like the F. Dick cleavers which started this thread. He used a chuka-bocho, i.e., a Japanese interpretation of a Chinese slicing knife. Chuka-bocho are made with better steel and often sturdier than typical Chinese (cleaver shaped) knives. More specifically KenIchi used a No. 6 Sugimoto chuko-bocho.
Comparing some knives by weight might be edifying.
- Sugimoto no. 6, around 14oz;
- Dexter-Russel Green River large Chinese Chef's Knife, around 10oz
- CCK chinese slicing knife, also around 10oz; but on the other hand
- CCK bone chopper, around 1lb 14oz, in other words, close to two pounds.
Decent chuko-bocho are very expensive. If you want to start fooling around with a cleaver to see if it's something you might like for general prep work, I suggest either the CCK 1103, the CCK 1302 or the Dexter-Russel 8915. I think the CCKs work a little bit better, can be made somewhat sharper, but they're carbon, which may or may not be a problem for you.
Here's a pic of the 1103:
Most modern DR Green-Rivers are stainless, including the 8915:
The stainless knife looks exactly the same as the DR carbon s5198 (note the reversal of the model numbers) which was the gold standard in U.S. Chinese kitchens for many years. It used to be that you could always find several DR Green-Rivers in the kitchen of any good Chinese restaurant. Not so true anymore, though.
Before accepting any cleaver recommendations from me, remember that I neither use nor know that much about them. Chinese knives don't work nearly as well for me as western chef knives, but maybe that's because I didn't try a Chinese knife until after I was pretty good with a chef's and never thought the putative advantages were worth the negative trade-offs or the effort involved in relearning to do things I already did perfectly well.