Noting the following from the OP: "I understand someone at Takada used to work at Ashi so there probably are similarities."
Takada is Mitsuaki Takada (a person) who worked at Ashi for 15ish years, then started his own shop, Takada no Hamono, in 2018. So, there are going to be a lot of similarities. Both are known for light and thin knives that cut very well.
Takada might have some help, but I think he does most of the work himself. He's a grinder/finisher, often working on blanks forged by Y Tanaka and Nagagawa, who worked for a long time under Shiraki, until he retired.
I really love both Ashi and Takada, and have knives from both, and have visited/met both For pure value, yes, I'd go with Ashi. I think Takada offers something a bit more special in terms of his grinds and finishes. Last month I picked up one of the taller blue 2 240 Gyutos from Bernal (~50mm at the heel), but haven't used it yet. Even for a typically undersized Sakai gyuto (it's in the low 230s in length), it's super light at 141 grams. Hopefully it doesn't feel too delicate/fragile. I concur with Cliff that I find my Yoshikane SKD a bit delicate and needs to be used with care (still love it! Man, that blade can cut!).