A good chefs knife will last you a lifetime. If you're cooking in your kitchen or a professional kitchen, it's worth the investment. I still have my knives from over 20 years ago. Along the way I have bought many knives, too much for one person.
I have gone through phases where I like a certain style of knife and then others. I use my knifes a lot, so having one that I want to use is important to me.
Your CHEF KNIFE IS A PERSONAL CHOICE. Not everyone will like the same knife and how it feels in your hands. Just because a famous chef uses a certain brand doesn't mean you'll like it.
For me, I like a thin blade when I'm cutting things that will be presented on a plate. Where cutting large amounts of foodstuff, I prefer a heavier blade.
A European Chefs Knife is a multipurpose knife. It's thinner in the front (like a paring knife) and thicker in the back (like a butchers knife). It's an all purpose knife. It can handle most jobs in the kitchen.
Buying a knife online can be cheaper than buying one in a store. But, you don't know how you're going to like it before you get it in the mail. I buy knives online. Before I order them, I normally go to a store and hold it in my hand. If I'm going to spend money on a good chefs knife, I'm want to make sure I like it.
What's good and not so good? Good knives are made well, the tang runs the length of the hand and made with metal that will last. Just because a knife is expensive doesn't make it good. My favorite knife I'm using now is the cheapest of my chef knives.
They say how tall you are is how long your knife should be. The tall, the longer knife. I personally like using a 8 inch blade. It's more natural for me to use.
Here are some of the knives that I would recommend to you...
Misono- the price is reasonable. It's thin and hold an edge very well and is easy to sharpen. There is not much difference between the thickness of the blade. I like this knife for delicate cuts. I don't use it as my workhorse.
Shun Classic Handle- it is expensive, the entry level to their knives. It's shape (thin in the front to thick in the back) is like a European chef knife. I like this knife when I have to cut a lot. It's heavy to help with the cutting. The handle may take you time to get used to it.
Global- it is moderate to expensive in price. It's very cool looking. The everyday global, what you mostly see been sold is ok. I don't use it much. The Global Heavy Series is good. It has more weight and cuts more like a European Chefs Knife. Both of the Globals holds it's edge pretty well and is easy to sharpen.
I switched to using mostly Japanese made knives because of these two reasons; the tang of the knife and it's hard to sharpen. Once it is sharp, it holds its edge very well. The tang can leave your knife uneven after you sharpen it for a couple of years.
There are many more brands out there and some that I own. But these are the knives I would recommend to you. Like I said, it's personal preference. You should hold and feel them in your hand before buying.