Thank you for your speedy reply. I have no idea what she wants, I just know that she is a vegan, has a wonderful blog about vegan foods and loves cooking. She is 22 years old and is not a professional cook but, cooking certainly is her truest hobby, and quite frankly, is a big part of who she is. She casually mentioned wanting some knives on her blog "someday when I can afford them", but I know it is not in her budget. So, I will answer your questions as best I can.
She is right handed.
I am sure she does not know how to sharpen, but is smart and can learn.
I have no idea whether she pushes or rocks, but she certainly "rocks" in my opinion
A stainless knife sounds like a great option, but that is why I wanted to talk to you because I don't know the pros or cons to having something different. I do know that ceramic knives can chip, carbon is sharper but can rust and stainless does not rust or stain.
I don't know the difference between western or Japanese handled and why one would be better over the other.
I am on a budget, but I do know I have to spend a bit to get good quality. I did a some research about what three essential knives are recommended for a home cook, and have decided that I would like to buy her a 10 inch chef's knife, a 4 inch paring knife, and a 10 inch serrated bread knife and a sharpener, unless you can give me an expert opinion why I should purchase something else. She does not eat meat at all, so a carving or boning knife is not really necessary. If you have some sort of beginner kit, I would be interested in hearing about it.
No, I don't mind if you post on your forum, but I am ready to buy them very soon as I must have them shipped to her in WA in time for Christmas. I can't ask her, because I want it to be a surprise.
Hope I am clearer than mud. I await your expert advice.