My father was great with knives. He always invested a lot of money in them, and kept them in immaculate condition. He would clean the blades immediately after use, and always put them away straight away. He invariably sharpened them before use. I've followed in his footsteps, not because I know what I'm doing, but because I learned it from him. I'm useless at sharpening them though, and that's become OH's job in our house. We also have serrated-edge table knives (very popular in Italy, everybody uses them in the home) with blades made from not-so-high quality stainless steel and plastic handles. Very good for slicing lemons and tomatoes etc. as well - and lots of other uses as well. I've never left any of my knives in water for long periods of time, especially when a friend of ours years ago told me that prolonged soaking would damage them, causing rust. I try to take care of them, too, because of the ever-increasing price if I had to replace! Mine are Sabatier knives, not the most expensive in the world, like a good Japanese knife, but very suited to the use that a keen cook puts them to.
Enough is never as good as a feast Oscar Wilde