I believe the difference is going to be the steel. Is it worth $100 more? I let more knowledgeable people speak to that. VG10 (the classic line) is still oodels ahead of the German (Wusthof, Henkels, etc.) with regard to being able to hold an edge and take a sharper edge. It's very good steel, very good, and the Classic line is an excellent line. Be aware too that Japanese blades (Shun, K. Onion, Global) take more knowledge for proper care. This isn't a bad thing. Learning how to properly sharpen and care for Japanese steels will only help your knowledge of cutlery grow. Also, look for an end grain (make sure it's end grain) wood cutting board, although plasti-whatever boards don't dull knives either. You have already done one of the most important steps in selecting cutlery: making sure you like the feel of the knife in YOUR hand (and your fiance's).