If you're willing to go smaller, it opens up your options a lot. I like my Spyderco Centofante3 (3 1/8 inch blade, VG-10).
i have the earlyer one with the shell inlay and comp lock (if you flully flat ground that blade it woudl be a laser for sure ( if i remember there was also a wharnnie style blade made )
Originally Posted by Amon-Rukh
Happy 4th everyone I cannot say enough about my rockstead shin, but because you are looking for a sub $100, an option I would consider is to look for a used one in excellent condition. You can find great deals on the net.
Here is a bunch of makers you can start your search on
Spyderco makes a Delica (2 7/8" blade) and Endura (3 3/4" blade) in ZDP-189. The Endura is a full flat ground blade. I have a Delica in ZDP-189 that was reground by Tom Krein to a FFG.
It's a slicer.
Tom isn't taking in knives for regrind anymore, but he does occasionally do some and posts them on his forum at the Usual Suspect Network. There are a couple VG-10 blades there now.