Posts about kitchen knives are generally reserved for the die-hard, pocket protector wearing, forum troll geek, but I'm going there anyway.
Years ago, when I worked in restaurants in Portland, I was always saddled with some ugly plastic handled thing from a kitchen supply store and, let's face it, that's really good enough for just about anyone. Later in life, when I could afford one, I bought a German made santoku and I thought I would never look back. The least you will pay for knife like that is over a hundred clams, which is already just plain self-indulgent even if it's the most important thing in the kitchen. But from there people will go on to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for hand forged samurai swords blessed by tengu in enchanted, ancestral forests and hammered in precise, cosmic musical rhythms by dancing wu li masters. Here's an acceptable lower middle ground for people like me:
Tojiro-DP Gyutou ($56.50 at Korin).
And while I'm being needlessly geeky and judgmental, I'll add that the answer to the question of where to take your knives for sharpening if you in live in the greater Portland area is to not take them anywhere, but to buy a proper stone and learn to do it yourself. Freeport Knife Company has yielded very poor results for me. LeRoux doesn't even sharpen knives. If you really just can't bring yourself to do the deed, Now You're Cooking is a good choice, but otherwiswe tune in to youtube for some "classes."