Interesting, I always found the cn completly utilitarian in almost every aspect. Probably one of the best value knives out there.
Sounds like its time for a rehandle.
When I see people asking for recommendations, I almost never recommend a different shape/style of knife than the one they're most familiar with. There are so many subtle differences between the usual knife (Wusthof, Henckels, etc.) and a nicer knife that it can almost be jarring to use the better knife. A completely different shape just compounds the learning curve and difficulty in getting used to a new knife.
But yes, you really hit it on the head - you have to look at the overall package and not just focus on the steel, unlike a certain newbie/troll that occasionally roams around these parts.
"Don't you know who he is?"
You have officially become one of us.
Your realization is the same one that every regular on this forum had at some point. Some people get their first "good" knife and are satisfied with it because it's 1000X better than what they had before, but they never really analyze the knife and the way that they use it to the point that they realize that with every answer or every new level of performance comes only more questions and more possibilities to step closer to un-attainable perfection. Each step covers exponentially less distance and costs exponentially more.
Welcome to the Knut House!!!!