I don't see that the brand name of a steel is really important - it's just a piece of magnatized steel. The steel that my aunt has - handed down from grandma - is at least 60 years old and still works just fine. Look at where your cousin worked ... who would know better about a good steel than someone working in a butcher shop?
I'm with GB on the Lanasky system - especially if you're new to sharpening knives. It's about the most foolproof method outside of taking your knives to be professionally sharpened that I've seen.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain