I think this is a great idea as it puts a Burke with in buying range of the working chef!
So let's brake down what makes a Burke the Best.
1 skillfully forged to shape blade.
Best convex ground knife in the world! True talent, gift from the gods that no machine can replicate.
Superior heat treat, again talent and skill
Great geometry, ultra thin without compromising strength
Looks! This one is in the eye of the beholder but this beholder thinks that this is the biggest " edge" that Bill holds over other top end makers. I have handled top $$ Kramers and side by side Bill makes a better looking blade. Top that with superior edge retention. My Burke vs Kramer round 2 review is long over do. This time it's two chef knives side by side and It's apparent Bill has learned a few more tricks since he made my suji.
So now let's see what you get in a mid tec:
Still the Burke grind, we may louse that forged to shape magic but it's a needed loss to keep the blade affordable. I for one don't think much will be loosed by the water jet cut blanks.
Custom heat treat. I might not be sold on this loss but as lone as Bill hand picks his out source heat treat to his specks ( triple quench ext) I think ther may...I sad may not be that big a deference. Bill will still inspect and test the blades for proper heat treatv( I think) . Farming this step out rather then having to heat treat each blade one at a time is a big time saver.
Looks, big loss but hell you got to save something for those of us that are lucky to have a custom. I for one would like to see a concealed tang western handle on these. I have a few ideas for this that I will be running by Bill. One involves a sheep horn looking micarta.
Last comment is on the first come first serve or lottery method of sealing these.
First come first serve sounds like the best way, but maybe do a lottery for the 2nd batch? Also note that the #13's belong to me, no arguments on this one.
Keeping a few blade blanks to do a more custom knife I.e custom handle, you grinde and heat treat might be a nice way to go for a mid tec + knife. Maybe do 1- 3 knives this way per batch and auction them? #1, 13, and 25 come to mind