on the Shun damascus:
Simply put, the blade has a core of VG-10 steel (which is incredibly sharp, durable, great edge retention, and very expensive.)
which is sandwiched between 32 layers of SUS410 High-carbon stainless (16 on either side).
This provides the cosmetic effect that true damascus steel has.
The cutting edge is the only point where the VG-10 is exposed.
really similar to more traditional western knives such as Wusthofs, just dont try to split lobsters or chickens with a generic Shun Classic chef knife, they will warp. For sharpening, you want a 1000 and a 6000 grit wet-stone and a non-coarse, or even better, smooth honing rod. They sharpen and hone at 16 degrees as opposed to the 19-22 degrees most other western knives do.
and about the Utility knive you mentioned, the Shun [classic] model is razor razor sharp....but VERY malliable. So you got to be careful about manhandling or putting the knife in a position to bend (mine came slightly bent in the box, but i fixed it with 2 fingers.). Its great for showpieces, garnishes, and dealing with fleshy fruit. I skinned a raspberry for kicks
side note: This is something i heard from a friend, but a co-worker of his has a shun classic with the resin pakkawood handle and supposedly uses it so much the resin is waring down into almost an hourglass shape. If you are afraid of that, they make an all-stainless series of Shun classic knives.
I hope this helps :)