I have to chime in here with even more perspective and experience since I posted last year. This fall I got a great deal on some Shun Elite Kitchen knives and I have to say--that out of all the Wusthoff, Henckles, Vintage carbon Sabatier, even my wondeful Global knives, they are hands down the BEST kitchen knives I have ever used in 20 years of owning serious Kitchen cutlery.
My advice for anyone looking to buy a set of Kitchen knives right now is to look at the Shun line....Classic if that's all you can afford. But the Elite line is fabulous. I can't tell you how much they outshine my German knives. The Globals are good too... In many ways better than the German stuff...
“Est Nulla Via Invia Virute”