I thought I'd cross post this response to the question MR posed here - and on about 10 other sites too
Here's the post:
I want to take this a little further and illustrate the philosophical differences we're talking about.
Here is my picture of a Damascus Yanagi after using the Nubatamas:
The philosophy used here was 100% aesthetic, and it's freakin' sexy, IMO. You can clearly see the pattern of the damascus layers and the border of the softer steel and the harder core steel is also crisply defined. These features are brought out by the stones' differential cutting rates of soft steel and hard steels. Note that I ended up returning to and spending a bit of time on the 400 Bamboo in order to remove all the residual scratches from the belt and earlier stones.
Now, let's compare that with a 16K Shapton Glass finish produced on a single bevel knife sharpened by Harrelson Stanley:
The philosophy here was 100% abrasion, and it's freakin' sexy, too, IMO! The abrasive in the Shaptons cut evenly through all layers of steel, soft and hard, thus (quickly) leaving a flawless mirror as a result. But as you can see, if there were any damascus on the blade, it is in no way accented.
So, which one is better? It Depends - on your sharpening philosophy.