I live in Sweden and I've enjoyed reading this forum for about a year now and decided it was time to join in.
About 18 months ago I got sick and tired of my cheap IKEA knives (meh! I'm a Swede after all) and decided to buy something with more quality to it. Of course I decided to buy a knife set of stainless K-Sabatier. After all, they looked alot like my old knives, but more expensive.
But just one month later I decided to try something really different. The sturdy Sabatiers were my safe fallback to something familiar and now it was time to experiment. Something japanese with harder steel, maybe even carbon steel? I bought a Goko white #1 and presto! the Sabatiers had become my guest knives. Since then I've bought many japanese kitchen knives, maybe too many? I've started a collection, that's for sure. But it's fun to collect something you can use as well. At the moment I'm all for japanese carbon knives. I've always appreciated handmade things with all its little "imperfections" (I call it a soul). The rustic feel of for example kurouchi and wa handles, I like. Not very interested in glimmering bling.
I'm currently trying to learn sharpening on waterstones. If there is any progress, it is slow, but I have patience, I will learn. Also, I'm buying new knives all the time, which means more rotation and it takes more time for them to get dull.
I'll continue to read this forum and hopefully contribute a bit as well.