Actually, the factory finish is still visible on the overground sections with some errant scratches from stone mud (can't really tell due to my camera skills). Mark said to call him, so I'll do that tomorrow. Anyways, I think Dave stated the issue best - holes in the edge later on.
Olpappy, the knife was quite far from evenly ground, and admittedly, I expected a bit better, even at the price point. I'll see if I can polish it up and take a picture to show you guys.
Steven, YEP. I agree. I briefly inspected the knife beforehand and found no issue, but they popped up when I put it to the stones.