I just dropeed that in because there is so much specific knife talk going on here
I have a wusthof set (GP) that I love that was a gift. Over time I have added more and more individual purcjase knifes to the set. Had to buy a bigger block.
I am getting a Japanese knife next, as I have heard so many great things about them.
maybe a ceramic knife when the places that sell them will replace them when they break or the technology improves.
But if I were in Big's shoes now, I would buy a good quality chef or santuko knife that he likes and fits his hand. I'd buy a knife guard or other means to protect the edge. I'd learn how to sharpen it myself or where to have it professional maintained. Then I'd go to town cooking!
And save up and buy another type of knife when it made sense to do so. Maybe trying another brand.
Assemble your own customized set over time.