First of all, everyone, nice to meet you! This is my first post since I discovered Chow just today when browsing the web over some knife stuff. Looks like a fun and alive community here!
To business: I am looking for a knife that can accomodate the shortcomings of my Robert Herder Santoku (which I love to bits) in my humble home cuisine. The santoku is very thin, razor sharp, and can be used for precision tasks. It seems to prefer (surprise, surprise) more of a chopping than a rocking motion. It will slice all the veggies and fruits as well as fish I present it but I am , I think rightfully, scared to put it to the heavier work (e.g. whole chickens, melons, etc..) so I don't.
I am know looking for a chef's knife, preferably 9 or 10 inches (I have a paring knife and the santoku if I want a shorter blade). After some searching, I think my question would probably be best answered with a German-style chefs knife (tell me if I'm wrong) since they take more abuse and allow for more of a rocking motion, which I want to 'master' as well.
If my analysis is correct, then a Wusthof classic 23cm or Wusthof Cordon Bleu 23cm seem most appropriate at first sight. I find then, however, on the expensive side (I have been told such as well). So, my eye has fallen on the Mercer Renaissance 9 inch chef's knife, but I am wary of it due to its price and place of manufacture (Taiwan, right?).
What do you guys think? Is the Mercer a good choice? Are there better options in your opinion (including the fact that I was looking at a maximum of about 150 dollars, preferably less)? Please let me bear the fruits of your experience and wisdom ;)
Thanks in advance!