I suspect that most of us don't get to experience the knives we buy beforehand (Target doesn't sell them) so we rely on credible folks on the forum, vendor descriptions, pass arounds, etc. I think this is why it can be both fun and tragic to receive the long awaited purchase. Our new NY academic posted on the negative side of things so I thought I would post on the positive side as well - the knife you got where pictures didn't do justice, reviews were too understated, and your eyes involuntarily widened. I think the no-brainer for me is anything from Marko; it's difficult to argue with a Marko handled shig. Here is another one:
This is a 210 yani. Based on comments from Jon and threads on the usefulness of small or moderate sized suji/petty/gyuto I bought this one to fulfill that role. It is best described as a single bevel suji; thin with good distal taper, f&f, and perfect for butterflying hormone laden chicken breasts, cleaning up pork loin, portioning fish, etc. The maker is basically unknown to me but the shape, balance, finish, and utility of this knife is best in class for me.
So that is the question: Other than DK's girlfriend, what is the biggest surprise on unpacking; the knife that exceeded expectations? - not necessarily your current favorite knife, but the biggest spread between expectation and reality.