Thanks for looking (and helping). I am looking for new chef knife, and need some input. I'll get some info in here, and if you have any follow ups, please post and I'll get back when I can.
I worked at a better than average chop/steak/seafood restaurant for 12 years. I probably put in 2-3,000 hours in food prep/line prep, and about the same as a meat cutter (carving up sirloin butts, NY strips and tenderloins). For both, I used knives supplied by our restaurant, which were mostly 8" Dexter sani-safe and Vic/Forschner chef knifes, and 10-12" Vic/Forschner cimenter (used a 12" butcher knife for a while). We had a sharpening service, so I used a steel, but rarely used a stone back then. Currently would consider myself a cooking enthusiast and use my kitchen daily, usually 2xday, but certainly don't put my equipment through restaurant level wear and tear. I use a pinch grip. I now own some Naniwa 400/1000 and 3000/6000 stones and a ceramic hone. I am getting comfortable using them, perhaps somewhere around adept or good, but not excellent. Regardless, certainly better than ceramic wheel sharpener I had been using. I am 5'10", 195lbs, and have larger than average hands (L and XL ski and prep gloves). Left handed.
Global 8" chef; Global 10" chef; dexter sani-safe 12" butcher; dexter 10" slicer; misc. Global and Wustoff paring knives; Dexter offset 9" bread knife; Global filet knife; no name cleaver from 99 cent store (best dollar i ever spent!).
Type of knives I have narrowed down to:
Masamoto VG or Mac Pro. Might look at Kikuichi TKC for a little more if it is worth it. Kind of like the Korin Togiharu Nickel Damascus visually, but have absolutely no info on it. The Zwilling Kramers are interesting, but a fair amount more, and I am not sure the additional bells and whistles on that (real and perceived) are justified in my case.
What I like and don't like about my current knives:
The Global G2 (8") is feather light and has a good balance in my hand. I feels more like a smaller (6 or 7") petty. It just feels a bit flimsy to me, and now my wife uses it primarily as her go to prep knife. It was a gift, so no harm done. I did like the look of the globals and they performed better than any knife I had owned in the past, so I stayed with them and got the forged 10". The length of the blade is fine with me, but it is very flat and doesn't have much belly. What belly is does have only comes out towards the tip. I do miss a "taller" blade with more belly. I tend to like a pretty stiff chef knife (a complaint I have about the G2, but the 10" seems stiffer). I really do want a japanese knife, but it doesn't have to be SS.
As for size, a 240 seems about right...210 too short and 270 probably a bit long, especially if it mostly flat, but would look at a 270 if it had some belly to it.
As for handles, I would prefer something like POC or pakka. Truthfully, handles don't matter a ton to me - I seem to adjust without much issue. The kramer zwillings felt a bit odd at first in my pinky through middle finger, but it wasn't anything substantial and I know that after another couple minutes with the knife, it would be forgotten.
As for weight, I have always been drawn towards middle of the road german blades and the heavier of the japanese blades. Balance can dramatically impact the perceived weight of a knife, and I acknowledge that.
I tend to by drawn towards taller knives (i.e. blade height at heel of blade) and somewhere between French and German shapes...leaning towards German. If I could find a Wustoff Classic 9" with japanese styling and grind, it would probably be close to 'right'.
Many of the knives I have looked at are not available to demo, so I am kind of going on photos and forum discussions.