Here are our finalists. The top one is Shun (pronounced "shoon") Classic. It's Japanese and made from stainless steel covered in 16 layers of microthin high-carbon steel. These are the people that used to make samurai swords. This set is a little more expensive, and the handles are rounded on the right side, and I'm left handed. The blade, however, is said to be truly amazing. Both salespeople I talked to today said they own Wustoffs and are now planning to buy this set.
And THIS one is the Wustoff Classic Ikon. The handle shape reminds me of the Ken Onion handle for Shun...those look kind of weird, but I fell in love with the way the back of the handle curved into my palm. I know how nutty that sounds. Anyway, these are cool. The blades are stain-resistant steel and it's the classic set. I'm not really sure why there are two paring knives of different shapes but I think they're for different uses.
Paul just called to tell the girls goodnight and then spent half an hour playing devil's advocate. He was like, "Are we a family that needs $___ knives?" I'm still annoyed about that because hello. Maybe he doesn't see the need to move beyond colleg-era cutlery, but I, as the person who enjoys so much preparing all of these organic or local or both and free-range and healthy and beautiful meals every single day and twice on weekends, would very much appreciate - I'll go ahead and say and need - nice, high quality knives. Hi, this should be a given. =)
Fortunately for his general health and well being Paul ended the conversation with a well-timed realization about how stinking lucky he is. Last year, when we were buying his bike which costs almost 5 times as much as these knives, and produces value for only one member of the family, I did not put him through the Spanish Inquisition, so I wasn't expecting to have to answer for myself. (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!) Haha - so I'm shaking off all that negativity and getting back to the business of enjoying myself and feeling like a princess.