Originally Posted by mouse
I am a fan of Shun knives. But don't go buying knifes because one person or another said they like them.
I am a firm believer that knives are very personal, and that you need to pick up the knife, hold it, feel it the weight of it and the handle are very natural to you. An awkward knife is going to be bad news, no matter what the brand.
But as brands go, buy the very best you can afford. If a knife isn't locked in a display case running with the rest of the pack, you probably don't want that as an investment. But knives are an investment, one you will always be happy you made.
There is no comparison between a quality knife and a budget knife, no matter what the brand. There are many good quality brands.
Oh and I buy each knife individually, not as a knife block set. You can get a knife block, but it doesn't have to come with pre-selected knives.
I always look along the "spine" of the knife from handle to tip to check the knife and handle are aligned properly. If there is the slightest bend you'll never be able to cut a straight line. And it isn't just cheap knives that have this problem!
This link has some useful info on choosing knives Kitchen knives buying guide