Some thoughts here about White #2 steel.
My experience has led me to feel this might be the best beginner's steel for kitchen knives. I think it's high reactivity and poor edge retention are actually good qualities under the right consideration.
Young cooks looking to develop knife skills and maintenance would do well to learn to always be mindful of the cleanliness of their blades, and you get get a whole lot better at sharpening if you have to do it every night. As well, and as many of you are aware, it's an easy steel to sharpen and takes a great edge, which is very rewarding. A little bit of fragility is a good thing too, as I find force is rarely if ever neccesary with a knife and using a blade you have to be mindful of will help develop finesse with your approach to cutting and such. oh yeah and there's no need for sharpies when taking these blades to the stone.
i think all young cooks should go buy a $200 white steel gyuto should they be able to afford it. it will teach you a lot of good things and be a lot of fun. it feels good having a moderately priced, unassuming knife that's way way sharpen than anyone else's! then there's always room to upgrade in the future..
just some random thoughts..