i guess that question has been asked many many many times but hey,it's the first time for me i guess!
So i've been looking through the never ending world of japanese knives for the last week and here are the models that i came up with. Personnaly, it will be for home use and will be my first ''real'' chef knife as well. I've been cooking and handling knive for several years but never looked for a japanese knife before. I know how to sharpen a knife on a whetstone but i would not say i have a ton of experience... I don't really mind about geometry, edges, etc. because i'm much of a newbie and they are details i don't know much about. I was first considering buying a 210mm for a first one but the 240mm Takayukis are a bit cheaper and tend to fit in the budget. But the main idea is to buy the knife out there by quality means regardless of the size. So let me know your fave!
Takamura 210mm R2 (200$)
Takayuki 240mm hammered damascus (190$)
takayuki 240mm grand chef wa gyuto (200$)
Fujiwara 210mm Nashiji (shirogami#1) gyuto (240$)
Moritaka 210 supreme gyuto (180$)
And don't hesitate to throw out any suggestions around the 200$ mark...i'm very open to change my mind.
Thanks for the help!