Hiro AS and Carbonext are great choices, however I am slightly tilted towards Carbonext.
But Hiro AS is no longer being made, so if you
I was thinking the same thing - about the velvet tamarind. LIKE
One other thing, since it is basically Western handle I *think* only the blade is measured, which means it may be very comparable to wa-handled 8"
The Shuns I've owned have been reasonably thin behind the edge, much more so than the Hiro AS I owned. They have comfortable handles and bolster, again
Tilman is still making excellent knifes. I highly recommend his work.