Alot of sharpeners here are pretty good & sharpen their own knives.Trouble wt. services is,not their knives & attention to detail can suffer.
I sharpened a guys knives that he had been sending back to the place where he bought it for shar. ser.,but it took so long he brought them to me.Who ever sharpened them Did not do correct heel shar.,the heels were high on all 3 knives where he went at an angle to the stone & neglected the heel.
I got a Tanaka from JCK and it did NOT require sharpening! It depends on the knife.
"The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
I've read that the CarboNext knives don't always arrive with a great edge out of the box, what this means exactly (good but not great?) I can't say, nor can I explain why it's the case (assuming it is). Still, the CarboNext series is recommended so often, that I don't think you can go wrong with one. Either learn to sharpen on it by watching videos (like these from Jon at Japanese Knife Imports), or have a professional sharpen it for the first time once it arrives (if necessary).
There are many posts about the CarboNext on this forum. Copy and paste this into Google, hit return, and see what I mean:
Since you asked about he 4-star,I will give my input on that. The price you listed and the knife are not bad at all but you have to
Ask yourself what you're looking for. I have that same 4-star and although iit was a huge improvement over the knives I had been using when I got it (went to it from lousy $15 things from Target), but there are better otions out there. If you get your Sabatier fixed up, it's performance will surely be similar to what the 4-star can offer. I would say that it's a better Idea to get your old sab back up to speed and then pick up a new Japanese knife so you can experience a different style of blade.
Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/
A couple knives you listed are pretty good.The Togiharu INOX at Korin France is a good blade,it is thin behind the edge & cuts well.The Inox steel holds up with constant use.
Also at JKI they have the Kenetsugu Pro M,good price,comes wt. a Saya,One of the most comfortable western handle I've seen on a J-Gyuto.Sharp out of the box.
If you get a nice J- Gyuto,learn to sharpen it,then you never have to worry about it being dull.