Thanks for replies. Just to clarify, we'd prefer stainless so we don't have to worry about rust. On another point, I said in the original post that it would primarily used for vegetables. Since we both are often cooking/prepping meals together, I think it would be best to get a pretty all around knife that isn't too delicate as it will probably be used for more than just vegetables. Would this change your recommendations? Since we're new to hand sharpening, I'd prefer something that comes pretty sharp on arrival. On other posts, I've seen the Miyabi Kaizen, Fujiwara FKM and Tojiro DP Wa-Gyuto recommended. How do these compare with the above recommendations?
What would you recommend for a honing rod? Assuming I keep the Chef's Choice Edgecrafter Diamond sharpening stone, how fine should the second stone be? Is there a big difference between 1k and 5k?
Kaizen, FKM and Tojiro DP are all well regarded, good value knives, as are everything else mentioned on this thread (imo). The choice of gyuto vs santoku is up to you, japanese or western handle and aesthetics, obviously a personal thing too. For a stainless knife in the hardness 57-60 range (which all of these stainless are) a stone in the 1k-5k grit range would be fine in my opinion. I don't know about your Chef's choice stone, but google suggests it is 400 grit. Personally i finish my stainless knives on a Bester 1200 or Chosera 2000, then strop on newspaper. Personally i wouldn't bother with the honing rod, just touch up on the stone and strop. Everyone will have a different view on this.
All of the suggestions offered so far are fairly stain resistant. I have not tried the Kaizen. I no longer recommend Tojiro unless we need a big handle due to only adequate geometry. The Fujiwara is nice but since you were replacing a somewhat "fancy" looking blade, I made the assumption that you would prefer that. You will probably not notice a difference in the performance of these knives unless you really get into sharpening. Since you don't sharpen per se, a rod such as the MAC 2k honing rod might be a good investment. There is a Chef'sChoice sharpener that supposedly works well for Japanese knives. I have not tried it but if you like that system, you may want to invest in that. As for stones, assuming yours is a 400 grit plate, you will definitely want to refine that edge and if you are a fairly unabusive user, you may never need to use such a coarse stone. In your shoes, I might just get something in the 3-5k range and advise you to touch up your blade often like a Gesshin 4k perhaps.