"...the hilt that the Henkel's and the Wustofs have. The hilt prevents the entire plane of the knife from being sharpend causing the knife to wear unnaturally over time."
When this happens, take them to the place that chefs take their knives (ask around for the name of it) and have the tang filed. This place (probably a small unlikely place geared towards hunters) is probably the best place to have your knives professionally sharpened, too.
As for Laguiole, I bought some expensive ($275/6)rosewood handled steak knives several years ago. They are works of art and are the most efficient, elegant, balanced steak knives I have ever used. They have yet to need sharpening and slice thru meat like butter.
[This message was edited by txtaster on Mar 13, 2004 at 05:04 PM.]