From my experience, the only knives I really use are a good forged chef's knife, a bread knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife.
I went with the Anolon brunello series. Nice wood handles, high carbon forged full tang blades. They're decent, but if I had to do it over again, I'd get a set of Victorinox forged blades. Victorinox has been making excellent swiss army knives that hold an edge for years.
I'm probably going to get a 10" chef's knife and it will either be MAC, Victorinox, or Wusthoff classic.
Oh and as for "Emeril uses this. or Rachel Ray uses this." They use what they're paid to use. The knives may be decent, but Rachel Ray doesn't use Furi because they're the absolute best knife for the job blessed by the pope himself.