I recently just got married and my wife and I are looking into getting good knives that will last for years as we love to cook everything and anything. I am pretty much settled on the Japanese style of blades in a stainless if possible. While I know Shuns and Macs are out there, I feel as if they are too pricey and you are paying for a name from what I have read (Henck's and Wust's as well!). Our budget is roughly ~500$ and we need a just a few knives that will cover all the bases but won't break the bank. I would ideally also like to grab two knives that could substitute as steak knives (non-serrated) so probably around 5 knives total?
I know about JCK and chef-knives-to-go but my god navigating these sites is mind numbing! In addition, I do not care if it is knife-porn or a twig with a piece of metal sticking out of it. If it is sharp and holds its edge for a good while before needing sharpened then I am a happy camper; everything else is just gravy.