Originally Posted by Verbalkint99
How much are you looking to spend? Most of your high end German made brands have cheap "international" (china) sets. These are the ones that come in the blocks your looking for. At that price point though you may as well get a set of Cousenart from Target.
Celphalons higher end sets are nice, but Wusthof and Zwilling JA Henckels are top dogs without getting too out of hand on price. Chicago Cutlery used to be good but they sold out and are cheaply made.
Another thing to consider is which style you want: Western or Japanese.
One of the things I picked up when I was looking was that you really only use three knives: chefs, utility, and paring. Spend big on those three and they will last forever, then get the steak knives you want separate.
Those are the only three I ever use out of our set, well and steak knives.
Originally Posted by Blue XJ
We got a set of ceramic ones as a gift a few years ago. Awesome knives, you have to hand wash them, but after ~2 years of using 3-4 times a week they are still super sharp. I'll get the brand when I get home from work.
All "good" knives should be hand wash only, also true of quality pans as well.