Initially I was gonna stick this post into the " haslinger teaser" thread, but I thought this might be more appropriate.
I just took custody of one of Thomas' knives, a 10" chefs in s35vn and so far, I'm impressed. Here's some initial thoughts:
The steel for starts, sharpened ALOT easier than I was expecting, I used GS 500, 1k, 4k and a kitayama and it took about 15mins to put a steeper bevel on it and get it to shaving sharp. Burrs came up fast and left with a few passes. I'll agree with Jon that the steel has a "toothy" quality to it; kinda hard to explain unless you have it in hand. Obviously I can't comment on retention as of yet, but after I've put it through the paces at work for a couple weeks I'll post further thoughts.
Handle is great. Recently, I've become a fan of western handles and I'm really warming to the bolsterless style (like Harner, Randy's offering at Butcher and Baker and Haslinger's of course). Very comfortable, tang and pins are completely flush and the selected wood is stunning (curly koa).
Profile: This is something you'll love of hate. I'm a fan, though at the moment, I rotate a Sab nogent, an azuma minamoto gyuto, a TC blades gyuto, occasionally the odd bit of Sugimoto #6 and as of next week, Thomas' work. These knives couldn't be more different from each other. Sab= typical french; narrow (height), thick w/ good taper, jack of all trades; TC, actually quite french in profile, but single bevel, very thick, a real tank and best for protein or thin slices on veg (a la usuba), otherwise it's just plain awful on hard veg; AMM gyuto has a very flat profile and narrow blade (40mm) which lends to push cuts and slicing protein, really too narrow to pinch so I reckon it doesn't suit hard veg; as for the sugimoto #6, I don't really need to say anything. The point is, I'm probably not particularly great at push cutting, chopping, rocking, slicing but I believe I'm proficient at most of these techniques so I don't really have a preference. I like to think I can pick up just about any style of knife and get the job done. If you love flat profiles (Takeda, Saji, AMM etc...) and are content, then I can pretty much guarantee you will hate this knife. I'd say, it's kinda like someone smashed a germen and french knife together, the back half is pretty much flat then it's got a fat ol' belly to the tip, though at the same time the spine drops significantly so the tip isn't too high and is a lot more nimble than the likes found on your typical german profiles (shun I suppose would be the infamous comparison). Much more like an antique sab at the tip; thin, narrow and VERY flexible.
To touch on the issues in the pass around thread. A few mentioned the height of the blade was awkward. I think this may be relevant to the 8" chefs, mine is 54mm from heel to spine with the handle taking up 26mm which I feel offers plenty of clearance, I can comfortably pinch grip this, though I often switch grips depending on the task at hand. I'm not too sure what the standard height is on most knives out these, but this would definitely be one of my tallest (sugimoto CM might just be taller).
Steel: As mentioned, I'm impressed. Easy to grind, easy to deburr, I'll comment on retention further down the line.
Geometry: I'd agree with everyone on this point. It cuts well, but food just loves to stick to this blade. Doesn't bother me on most veg, but I cut a few potatoes for fondants and they really stuck bad, kinda like when you cut cold butter and it's hard enough to remove from the blade that the best option is to kinda slide and twist it off. There's more than enough steel so convex it so maybe I'll give that a try.
At the moment, I'm actually really excited at the prospect of putting this knife through it's paces at work cause I know it's gonna do some things well and I look forward to seeing what it'll struggle on. How could it be better just from initial impressions? Better food release for sure and I'm being greedy with this one, but it'd be nice if it came with a sheath of some sort (leather, rubber, whatever); although, judging from his handles, TH is obviously pretty good with wood working
I'll try to get some pics up quick-smart.