Still learning about knives, and really benefiting from the wealth of knowledge on the Cookware board, so thanks a lot guys. I've heard that restaurant supply stores are good places to pick up inexpensive, functional pots and pans so I stopped by a Gordon Food Service to check it out.
Turns out they have a GFS line of cooking knives with prices ranging from $9 to $20. Selection is limited but they have all the basic types covered: chef's, santoku, cleaver, slicer, bread, paring. Very no-frills with molded plastic handles, but the blade shapes all look OK as far as I can tell. In the fine print on the back I read they are made by Kitchen Essentials, which is a name I have not come across on this site with regard to knives. Does anyone know if these inexpensive GFS knives are any good?