So I've done a bit of research and the Hiromoto Gyuto 240mm seems to be the knife I am leaning towards. I have searched this forum for more info on this knife, however, and I don't seem to find much posted about it, so I have a couple noobish questions.
But first, about me: I'm a home cook. I cook dinner most nights because, while my wife is a good cook, she hates cooking. I'm a crummy cook (I like to call myself a "learning" cook) but I love cooking. I've found that loving cooking is usually enough to make something delicious at home with a little planning and preparation. I currently use a no-name chef's knife at home and I'm looking to upgrade to a decent Japanese style blade. I really hate how fat and unruly my knife is. A lot of it is skill, I'm sure, but I'm looking for something more thin and nimble.
I am halfway decent at sharpening. I've been doing it since I was a kid. I'm nothing special but I can get the blade of my crummy no-name knives at home decently sharp on my crummy hand held diamond kit my dad gave to me years ago (I will also be buying a new sharpening kit, most likely the one I see recommended here all the time from CNTG).
I cut what most home cooks at home cut: moderate amounts of veggies, fruits, and meats. Sometimes nuts and seeds.
My first question is: I have never owned a clad knife. Does a clad blade require any specialized knowledge to sharpen? What happens when you eventually get to the clad part after years of sharpening?
Second: Are there any knives in this price range that are going to blow the socks off the Hiromoto? I was originally looking at the Fujiwara FKM and Tojiro DP knives, but they seemed kind of hit or miss on F&F and QC. I figured I'd be okay spending a bit extra to get something I can be confident will last me quite a long while.
Thank you guys for your info. As a total noob I'm sure there's some things that I am overlooking, so please feel free to ask me anything else or educate me on anything. Thank you in advance for your help.