Tried a santoku after all the raves and publicity - then got rid of it.
I swear by my 8" chef knife.
Wusthof Cordon Bleu (I own two - one for a back-up).
Half bolster allows full use of the blade.
Blade is a bit leaner than the classic series for less splitting of ingredients.
No scallops that can tear delicate items.
$125 gets you a combination kit of both the 8" CK and 3.5" paring knife.
Then all you need is a steel and a serrated bread knife.
For sharpening I use an oiled "manual" 3-Stone Norton system.