I hope your search goes well!
Every once in a while on a visit to a restaurant supply store, I noticed that there were sales on big basic quality chef knives for as little as $5! These are the knives we tend to buy to supply the kitchen and we will not fret if a cook loses or walks away with it. They tend to be heavy but they usually have a decent textured grip. It's a commercial quality knife and is usually stainless steel.
I know that you may be tempted to spend a whack on a great knife, but, I recommend you consider a basic 'bulk' knife.
If you want to learn how to care for the great knife once you can afford it, you can use a bulk knife or a few bulk knives to build your skills. At $5, you can learn how to manually sharpen, or hone it properly and get your own cutting style down. Then you can test the expensive knives when you are ready and find the right knife when you have the experience to choose. Also, a bulk knife is not attractive to thieving hands, should you share space with other cooks.
I have found that i love all the knives out there but only a few fit my hand and work with my hand (bare or gloved, dry or wet) at my preferred working pace.
Good Luck and have a great day!