i'm 30, having started and learned in regular french high end restaurants, then managed some collective restaurants, and ended making a big brasserie project happen in belgium as an head advisor and as a chef for a private investor.
professionaly wise, i highly respect knives, which respects more food products, which respects more the customer, so in short if the chef hasn't sharp knives he disrespects the customer IMO.
i started at 15, with a set of victorinox/forschner with wooden handles, but my case was stolen back then before i could learn to properly sharpen em. i've then been using various western soft stainless knives since that day (9 years ago) when, by curiosity i ordered a hattori 3HDG and experienced what was going to build my vision of cooking: that a razor sharp edge was not only more secure given the proper technique (no slipping) but also greatly improved texture and negated the food oxydation problem, removing the need to change the taste of the apples and peers with lemon juice and so on.
since i've be building my set of knives and sharpening tools, learning to achieve sharp edges, and to maintain them fairly properly.
i've been looking too much at knives appearance by the past and i become more and more effciency only interested.
for me a knife is not only a steel, its a geometry, a handle, a forging and tempering process, a lot of things which require high skills.
so i love knives, as they are for me a flawless mean to achieve higher pleasure in eating in the end (no need to say i love eating/drinking and general pleasure too)
so far i own (or am i owned by?)
(keep in mind that my blades have to be -or seem- stainless and the handles have to be -or seem- plastic because of french norms)
Hattori HD gyuto 150mm (VG10 cladded with industrial damascus, polished, 50/50)
Hattori HD gyuto 240mm (VG10 cladded with industrial damascus, polished, 50/50)
Hattori HD Petty 105mm (VG10 cladded with industrial damascus, polished, 50/50)
Misono Molybdenum paring 80mm (molybdenum vanadium steel, 70/30)
Misono Molybdenum sujihiki 300mm (molybdenum vanadium steel, 70/30)
Misono Molybdenum Honesuki 145mm (molybdenum vanadium steel, 95/5)
Misono UX10 petty 150mm (UX10 sweden stainless steel, 70/30)
Misono Molybdenum chinese cleaver (molybdenum vanadium steel, 70/30)
Gekko santoku 190mm (VG10 cladded with industrial damascus, tsuchime, 60/40)
Gekko nakiri 165mm (VG10 cladded with industrial damascus, tsuchime, 60/40)
800 (king) and 6000 (minosharp) grit whetstones
oh and a full set of sabs which stays in the case...
I am looking forward to buy this year:
hiromoto AS gyuto 300mm (aogami super cladded with stainless, 60/40) ( koki's got some )
watanabe 220mm santoku (aogami cladded with stainless, western handle) trying hard to make this custom order happen by mail with Watanabe-san
watanabe 120mm nakiri (aogami cladded with stainless, western handle) trying hard to make this custom order happen by mail with Watanabe-san
naniwa super 12000 (easy to find web wise)
forum wise i think you know enough for now