Hey guys, first post on here so don't be too harsh, but constructive criticism is always fantastic.
So within the past year I've really gotten more into cooking, being at school and just finishing up my second year I was able to have a kitchen in my townhouse last year so I started cooking a lot for myself, because let's face it cafeteria food is at times unbearable. Now I have always loved food, and always helped my mom around the house with various chopping and such, so I have been around what I would call very acceptable home cooking, nothing crazy fancy but always a great meal. What has always been sub-par though in my household has been the knives, nobody takes care of them. We currently have a Wusthof Grand Prix II knife set, and those knives have never been properly sharpened, so using them at times can be quite cumbersome. The only other knife I have ever used as heavily would be the Victorinox Forschner 8 and 10 inch at work, I work in a produce department/kitchen of a supermarket and prep many vegetables, make soups, salads, salsa, guacamole, etc.
Now let's skip to the just of this shall we?
Given that I will be doing much more cooking down the road during my last two years of school, and ideally beyond that unless my arms get amputated in some freak accident or something, I am looking to buy a chef's knife that will serve me well in all I do and will last me for years to come, not something that will be ruined by next year with proper care. I would set my price range at $150 absolute max, but would definitely like something for around $100 if it can be done. I would rather cough of some extra dough on a nice set of stones and a ceramic rod for keeping the knife a "cut above the rest" (I was dying to make that joke *chuckles*)
I have already looked at quite a few knives, and almost bought a Global on a whim, thank christ I didn't because I tried the handle at a local store and it was too small. I have looked into Shun's (8 inch classic western chef knife), Tojiro DP, Yoshihiro, etc., so I'd like to have someone steer me in the right direction if they have had experience with any of these knives/brands.
So a condensed version, I would like
-Chef Knife, $150 max ($100 range preferable), I'm leaning towards Japanese
-Acceptable sharpening stones and ceramic rod (open to price suggestions)
-Suggestions on cutting boards
-Any other advice
Sorry for the lengthy post, hope to hear from one of you soon!