I'm an IT professional with a serious cooking hobby. I'm completely impressed with the skill and stamina that professional cooks bring to their job.
I learned a ton from the old knife forums, but learned by reading and doing. Since I already spend 8 or 12 hours a day at the computer, I wasn't much motivated to post there. I amassed a fairly serious collection of german, japanese, french, and american blades, and learned to sharpen and use them to something like their full potential. I like a chinese chefs knife when I'm doing large quantities of vegetables, but a 240 to 270mm chefs knife is the one I reach for when I'm doing smaller tasks.
In short, I became a knife snob (but did learn that great and expensive were not synonyms). I've left a knife at my parents and each of my siblings' house so I don't get blisters when slicing an onion. When it got serious with my then-girlfriend I made sure she had a cute little 8" Mac knife in her drawer so I didn't have to risk using serrated chinese-made knives for a romantic dinner.
I love the difference a good sharpening makes, and enjoy the zen-like repetition. I tend to wait until I have a few that need it before I pull out the stones. I've learned how to do the japanese steel on waterstones, but tend to do the german steel on oilstones with water. When I sent out some much-abused inherited knives to a professional sharpening, I resharpened them as soon as I got them back. Admittedly, they had managed to straighten out the blade which I can't do freehand on waterstones.
Then I fell in love, got married, and had to share my kitchen. My lovely young wife predictably reaches for a 100-200mm knife. After some initial hesitation at seeing me pick up 11 or 12" swords to slay the smallest vegetable, she's come around, and surprised me with a set of monogrammed K Sab steak knives last Christmas.