My two main concerns are thus.
First, I'm looking for a Santoku. I'm not that tall so keeping the tip of the knife on the chopping board while I slice vegetables and such is cumbersome at best. But with the curved edge of a chef's knife, the way I cut often leaves a small portion uncut, especially when I'm working quickly due to having a lot to do to prepare for the day or an event, meaning I end up wasting time going back to cut that small part when, and if, I notice my mistake. I've already tried my coworker's santoku so I know that the straighter edge works better for me.
Second is the handle. I've noticed when I hold the knife in a pinch grip that there's quite a lot of space between the handle and the palm of my hand. While a pinch grip does help me handle the knife better, the gap between my palm and the handle sometimes causes the knife to move around unnecessarily, usually when I've used the knife a lot that day and using the honing steel to realign the edge is no longer enough. I'm not sure how big an issue this really is but I just wanted to throw this in to see if there's a knife that addresses this issue. If not, then I'm open to any suggestions with regards to this. Maybe even taping padding to the handle to fill the gap? :P
Also, my friend sent me a picture of his knife. It was a Shun knife designed by Ken Onion. Leaving aside the Shun brand for now, I'm honestly not sure what to think about this one. The curved handle looks like it could solve my issue but at the same time just the look alone leaves me doubtful for some reason. Since none of the shops near me, or in nearby cities, carry this particular design, and my friend lives in another country, I have no way to actually trying to see if the knife will feel comfortable in my hands. And though my friend swears it works for him, I'd rather not spend $200+ on a knife I've never even tried to hold.
Other, somewhat minor details are the following. High carbon stainless steel, 7 inch blade (I feel that the 8 inch one I have now is just a hint too long), full tang, a full bolster (the half bolster knives' balance feels awkward to me), and a granton edge. Also, I've heard a bit about hollow edged knives. Is it true that while it does cut smoother by design, is the edge really more brittle than it's regular counterpart even if it was under the same brand/maker? As for price, I'd prefer one roughly around $150 but if the knife is worth its price I wouldn't mind paying more.
Probably a lot to ask but since it's going to be my primary knife at work once I get it, I want one that's worth the money spent in every possible way, realistically speaking of course.
So, any suggestions?