Was just thinking about this subject. All of this is directed mostly to home cooks or anyone who doesn't make their living in a kitchen. Since most of us have many more knives than we actually need, not to mention the impulse to continue buying, do we ever get enough quality time cutting with one particular blade to truly know it well?
Quick back story which I promise is somewhat relevant: back in college I worked in a kitchen as a prep cook and used a 10-inch Forschner for everything. We had a service come by and replace the house knives with sharpened ones every two weeks, but that was never good enough for me, so each shift I would take out the electric sharpener for a few slow swipes to start the day. I would then find one of the very few steels the kitchen had, and it would stay next to my cutting board all day and get regular use---no one else seemed to ever need a sharp knife. (this was the actual starting point of my knife/sharpness addiction...just hadn't come all to the forefront yet). At the time, it was the best-feeling knife I have ever used and truly was an extension of my hand. I don't think I've ever felt so 'comfortable' with a blade before, but then again, I spent so much time with it on a daily basis that it forced itself to grow on me.
Nowadays when I need to cut something, I'm always grabbing for something different than I used the previous time, in order to switch it up and get more use out of everything I have. And as great as it is to have a variety of options and choices, it really seems to limit the face-time needed for a knife to reach that level of intuitiveness, especially when I'm really only cutting a few things for dinner each night.
I love all my knives, still have favorites, and are comfortable with each of them...but I just don't get that same feeling with limited use from always changing up. You see the videos of the Japanese guys who are using a gyuto that has been ground down from so much use that it looks like a suji, and you can just sense the relationship they must have with that blade...I kind of miss that.
Anyone else ever feel similar, or is it just a slow day on the forum and its got me thinking of something new to talk about? Or maybe its because today is my last day at work in 2011 and I'm in la-la land vacation mode...who knows.