I used to have a nice starter Henckels set of knives but found that i didnt use them all and learned that i dont like a traditional Chef's knife. So ive been collecting a few that i really enjoy using and are functional. I like to see what others like to use.
Here are my faves:
Top down 10" pseudo butcher knife (thrift store find), Henckels 8" santoku, Global 7" Oriental Chef's knife, Shun 3-1/2" paring knife.
Close-up of the damascus style steel of the Shun.
I keep them sharp with water stones. I was cleaning the little one today and shaved my thumbprint off. Didn't bleed at all!
I'm surprised she takes exception to the paring knife and not the more expensive santoku. They are awesome knives that's for sure! My wife can use them as long as she uses the butchers block or cutting board; but she can't clean them!
I almost never use the paring knife for what it's designed for, which I think she takes exception to. She used to be a sous chef. When she was working I never got to touch her knives, but now that she doesn't work in a kitchen I can use some of them. They are super nice.
To paraphrase Dr. England - "Off-flavors smooth with time. So do mountains. Brew it right from the start!"