I have a friend who is getting into cooking. I helped prepare dinner at her house a few weeks ago, and was very dismayed when I tried to chop some herbs and veggies for a dish I was contributing. Her "chef's" knife was simply awful (not just dull... downright awful. It was not a "brand" knife). I want to buy her a better knife for Christmas, but I don't want to spend more than about $40 or so. Are there any workable chef's knives out there that won't set me back a ton? I really like my own knives, (Wusthof and Cutco). I prefer my santoku over my chef's, but that's personal preference. So what I'm seeking for her is a decent 8' all-purpose type knife that won't mutilate vegetables (or whatever else she decides to cut, since this will be just about the only knife she uses) but won't cost me Wusthof or Cutco prices. Am I seeking the impossible?