I actually meant to add that one downside to these knives is the fact that the handle is cylindrical and not contoured. It *is* a tapering cylinder to be sure, but some people might find the handle off-putting, espcially if they are used to contoured handles. They take a little bit of getting used to (I didn't like it at first but later ended up preferring it). Those with large hands might also find the handle too skimpy, alhough our sous chef has very large hands and he loves the handle. I can't emphasize how much our chef and sous chef praise these knives. They put them through a lot of hard use and they say that these knives seem easier to sharpen, keep their edge a little longer and are easy to maintain day in and day out.
I'm a Shun devotee as well. It didn't take me long to get used to the handle, but the backside of the blade is cornered off sharply, which eats away at your fingers with extended use. I found that taking a steel to the corners, as well as behind the bolster of the blade, really helps. I've tried a bunch of knives, and nothing holds an edge as well.
[This message was edited by Nick Fauchald on Apr 05, 2004 at 10:29 AM.]