I hate to create another thread asking which knife to get, but I've done a lot of research and there's just so much information I feel I have to ask my specific questions. I'll try to answer all the standard questions so it's easier to make a suggestion.
I'm a home cook from Miami, Florida (US), making dinner on weekdays; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekends. I don't have to cut through bone. I cut a lot of vegetables, (including hard ones like butternut squash and sweet potato) and I like to cut up my chicken before cooking so it does so faster and more evenly. I don't peel anything, really, except the squash.
I'm currently using a zwilling twin signature 8" and a 10" chef knife my stepdad made the handle for (he's a carpenter) but he got the blank off ebay. No idea what kind of quality it is.
I'm looking for a workhorse chef knife, and think I want something larger than 8". Budget is $200. I feel I can care for high carbon the way it needs to be taken care of, but I'm open to stainless as well. I don't know whether I want a euro style chef knife or a Gyuto knife.
As for sharpening: I've been sharpening my knives for about a year with an EdgePro Apex kit I was gifted, but I felt I was getting inconsistent results. With that system its hard me to to take away consistently across the whole length of the blade, and on both sides. From reading here I also feel like I was using too low a grit. Always going from 120 to 600 (four grits) before giving up because it takes me a half hour per blade. Also, I wasn't honing (I recently got the green elephant ceramic rod), and keeping the knives in the kitchen drawer with other cutlery which I feel was taking away from the life of my edge. They have their own drawer now.
Today I took my knives to a professional sharpener, and before coming here that's what I thought I was going to continue to do. However, when I asked he told me he was using a 4 pad machine to sharpen and can only do symmetrical blades. I haven't used the knives yet but wasn't terribly impressed. I'd like to continue to take it to a professional because of the time investment it takes to sharpen myself, so if anyone in Miami has any recommendations I'm open ears.