That was one of the most succinct and concise analogies I have read on this website! Great job of putting it into the terms of the layman.
Unfortunately some of it was -- if not untrue -- unintentionally misleading. The bottom line is that German-style chef's knives do a few things better than chef's knives typical of Japanese manufacturers, but that the Japanese types do most things better. The question of what is and what isn't sharp can be very complicated. But we can shortcut by saying that whatever absolute sharpness is, that knives made with the kind of geometry and alloys typical of Japanese makers' chef's knives ACT sharper. We can also say that for most users doing most kitchen tasks, sharpness trumps everything else.
If you're going to spend your life chopping chocolate, and skinning pineapple, you'll want something heavy duty. If you routinely break down pounds and pounds of thick-skinned squash under serious time pressure, you'll want something very stiff. But, if like most of us, you use your chef's knife for the ordinary variety of kitchen prep -- including potatoes -- you'll probably like a thin, light knife with agile geometry and an extremely good edge.
Here's a question for you... You said Japanese knives are great with cutting meat, as along as it's not frozen... I am an avid deer hunter and every year I make large batches of venison jerky where I could be slicing a 50-100 lbs of meat at a time. When I slice my jerky I prefer to flash freeze it so it easier to get thin, consistent slices. Would this be an example where a Japanese knife would be inferior to a German knife in your opinion? Keep in mind the meat is not completely frozen, but sometimes it's close!
There's no single right answer to your question. Your best knife choice for cutting strips semi-frozen meat for jerky would probably be be any one of several non-chef's Forschner (i.e., Victorinox knives marketed in the US as Forschner by Victornox) profiles; and I say "probably" because Forschner is the gold standard of butcher's knives).
Since a typical strip of jerky weighs well under an ounce before drying, and 50 lbs of meat would make for around 1000 strips, I think you'd be better off doing some basic butchering with a reciprocating saw; portioning the meat into appropriate sized blocks with good meat knife like a 10" Forschner Cimeter, for instance; and cutting your jerky strips with an electric slicer.
Here, you're not really asking about an all-around knife of the type you'd choose for versatility in a basic but comprehensive set. You're asking for a specialist. The rule is "horses for courses."
And on another note, it sometimes perplexes me when I hear people constantly blabbering about edge retention on Japanese knives. If you are an at home cook that might use your knife a total of 30 minutes each day, do you really need to be concerned about if your knive's steel isn't at 61 Rockwell hardness??
You've got a few false underlying assumptions here. First, you don't understand the processes by which knives dull. By and large, the sorts of chef's knives made by Japanese makers will not only take a much better initial edge, but retain that superiority -- with far less steeling -- throughout their sharpening cycle. Whether the sharpening cycle is longer or shorter for one knife versus another is not nearly as important as how the knife behaves through the cycle.
Second, your overemphasizing the importance of "Rockwell hardness." It's a very common misunderstanding, because Rockwell hardness numbers are so publicized. The most important alloy characteristics in the knife context are strength, toughness, and the balance between the two. Hardness, as a metric, is mostly important as a metaphor for strength. There are three types of relevant hardness. Impact, scratch, and indentation. Impact and scratch hardness tell you a lot about what to expect from a knife. Rockwell hardness is "indentation hardness," and is only valuable as a metaphor for strength and the other types of hardness.
Rockwell hardness is difficult to measure accurately. Differences in a point or two in figures from the Rockwell "C" scale (which is what the knife makers and sellers report) often don't mean much. Don't read too much into them.
And if you are planning on sharpening your knife, which you obviously are, you are just postponing the inevitable for a couple weeks maybe?
As I already explained, that's not really the right question.
The silver lining is that you're asking about sharpness and sharpening, and those are the two arrows which are aimed at the heart of the matter. It's a very good thing that your search is for the best tool to bring sharpness to your prep. Sharp, sharp, sharp.
I'm not trying to dog on the Japanese knives, I just want to understand every aspect before I spend $200 on one.
There are too many aspects and some of them are too deep for you to gain complete understanding of all of them before buying a mid-priced chef's knife. But seeking some general knowledge as opposed to a few scattered recommendations is absolutely the right way to go. We'll see what we can do.
Keep asking questions,