i have used, Konosuke, Geshin Ginga, Shigefusa, yoshikane SKD and SLD, Kato, Suisin Inox, and DT 52100 WA handle.
western handle i have used, Hattori FH, Carbonext, some JCK original brand.
i like them all, they all have their + and -
mostly i use the Yoshikane SKD, the edge last forever, i would probably recommend Shigefusa, but in a pro kitchen they need some care and knowledge to use, better to buy them later on, some of the students (and me) use Carbonext, not WA handle but great knives to start with. Konosuke to thin in my taste, great knife to slice and use for proteins, allround knife is for me a 210mm Gyuto and a 190mm-210mm Suji/petty.
i have bought Yoshikane from a couple of vendors, both thin and "normal" thick and they all suit my needs.
i like a pretty knife, dont get me wrong, they look great and you can probably convince 90% that "that" knife is good, but in the end as a Cuisine student/pro is performance and maintance that counts. normaly most people like stainless and semi stainless because they are more easy to handle in action, but for me Carbon is much easier to sharpen and funny to use on stones.
i would use 60% of my budget on 2-3 knives, no more, you dont need more knives at the start, 30% on stones, 1000 # grit, and 3000 -4000 # grit, to maintain the knife, 10% to save for the "monster" you always wanted :D
a normal day in the kitchen for me, i use a petty 180-210mm 20%, 210-240mm gyuto 60% suji and bonning knife 10% the rest 10 % cheap victorinox pairing knife, breadknife. a lot of people think they need a lot of knives (dont get me wrong, i have many, a lot i dont use, because im a knife nut) but in a pro kitchen you dont have the time to pick a sertain knife, you grab the one you like.