I have Wusthof knives, Shun knives and a big 10 3/4" MAC chef's knife
I far prefer the Japanese manufactured Western style blades to my German knives. The main reason being the absence of a bolster. I like the way they grip with out the bolster and they are far easier to sharpen by hand with out a bolster.
I bought my waterstones from www.Korin.com
and my Mac knife from www.jbprince.com
(the actual retail shops). I also had great experiences purchasing from cutleryandmore.com and chefsresource.com
I highly recommend the Mac ceramic rod $15 , which they properly label as a sharpening rod . Ceramic and diamond rods are for sharpening not honing.
my Mac knife is thin and sharp and makes the thinnest cuts you can imagine. I highly recommend everyone try a wide 10" knife out a good shop. They are so much easier to use for chopping (the tip of the knife will stay on the board) and slicing (more blade to use). Most good shops have the Wusthof 10" wide which I like as well.
If you are deciding between Henckel and Wusthof, take a close look at the bolsters on each. I far prefer the design of the Wusthof, but the width of the bolster is the biggest design difference between the two.
Spicewine Custom Medium Large (Thank You Sawdustguy)
Primo Oval (and BBQ Guru for when I need a nap)
ECBrinkmann Vertical Smoker w/mod charcoal pan and thermometer (used mainly for storage)
Meco Aussie Walk-About (AKA the princess grill)
Klose 20x30 Smoker (sold)
Thermos Square Grill (abandoned at Giants stadium)
Kenmore/Charbroil Gasser got dragged to the curb