My mother is an amazing chef. Though I rarely eat her cooking these days, I get to experience it whenever I visit the folks. The last time I visited, I noticed that her knife collection was severely lacking. Her chef knife is some abomination (maybe Wusthof) that is possibly the dullest knife I've ever seen in a kitchen. (Maybe it's her care and not the knife that made it so bad.) With what little sharpening knowledge I had, I was unable to do anything about it. She typically sharpens the knife using some little stand wherein you pull the knife through several times.
So, I want to buy her a great chef knife. Nothing extremely fancy. I myself am a newb, so I know very little. But, I do know that she doesn't need a carbon blade, damascus metal, wooden handle, etc. She just needs a fantastic knife that will get the job done. Budget about $400. Ideas?