As for forgiving steel, and a knife that cuts pretty well, I'd say your best options are Henckels, when on sale, or a Sabatier stainless. We have a Henckels at work that I will use, occasionally. To be honest, it's better than most knives anyone else uses. They're kind of ridiculed on the forums, because of cost and the fact that they are only ok, will being "the best", according to the Martha Stewarts of the world. With that being said, they're tough, thicker, and durable. You could do a lot worse.