I am not a huge fan of the Santoku when I am doing Japanese food, it is a hybrid knife, and it is not quite as good as the specialized knives at many things. It is not, by the way, a cleaver. It is meant to replace the Gyuto, Petty and Nakiri, which is to say, it is for general slicing, vegetable prep and fruit and detail work. It does all of these passingly and none of these things great. I do have two of them, and my tenant loves to use them. I actually prefer my Chef's knife, as I can do all of the same things, but, faster, cleaner and better with a 8 to 10 inch gyuto or Chef's knife.
That being said, I much prefer the carbon steel Japanese santoku to the stainless steel ones from Europe, as the European ones have a funky belly to the edge. I prefer the straighter edge for working with vegetables. I never use my santoku on meat.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
Whip It Off, Chambers!
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."