I sent my 8" Chef's knife to Shun to be sharpened. I received it back today and I'm pretty sure it isn't the same knife I sent to them. It's the same model number and everything, but it's not the *same* knife. It feels to me like the handle is a bit thicker.
I'm not exactly sure what their procedure is when a knife is sent in, but I'm assuming they just replaced mine with one that was already sharp and will eventually sharpen mine and replace someone else's with that one (unless mine was somehow damaged when they attempted to sharpen it...but anyway, I think you get the point).
Lastly, I did not check the "Sentimental Value" box when filling out the form to send in with the knife, so maybe that had something to do with it as well.
I guess my point in all of this is if you are sending your knife to Shun for sharpening, and you want that *exact* knife back, either check the "Sentimental Value" box or call ahead to verify what the procedure is.