I'm 22 and just graduated from college. I've got a pretty sweet job lined up, so I have a reasonable amount of disposable income. Since I know good knives will last me forever (and from what I understand, sharper blades are actually safer), I figure I might as well upgrade from my okay quality knives to really good ones.
Right now I'm just looking into a chef's knife (or whatever the Japanese equivalent is), though I'm also interested in "sets" if people have strong recommendations. I'd prefer not to spend upwards of $150 on the chef's knife, though I could potentially be talked into it.
What are people's recommendations? Do I want to go with European or Japanese blades, and why? Is there a generally accepted hierarchy of brands within this price range (ie Wusthof might be better than Zwillig, etc.).
Thanks a lot!