Hey Eric! This was recently asked so I thought to recycle my answer and share it with you as I think it fits perfectly! Here you go and have fun:
Oo, such fun! I love shopping for new steel! You actually don't need much.. it's one of those "less is more" kind of deals. A chef knife. A paring knife. I totally admit that my tomato knife was the best purchase ever and I can slice through soft fruit beautifully.
I'm very advanced in the kitchen and use daily the three knives that I listed - an 8" chef, my 3.5" paring and ye auld serrated tomato knife, and a boning knife that comes out on occasion. I'm not going to give you the brand that I have as every knife is different and brand doesn't matter. You need to go in and hold the knives, if you are in a good shoppe they will have cutting boards and veg/fruit for you to test. For me, the most important factors for my chef knife were and are: it must be forged, the weight, did the knife "rock" the way I wanted when chopping/mincing, can I easily butcher a chicken, and was the bolster comfortable when resting my fingers against it. It HAS to feel good in your hand. This is something you will be using every day so don't look at price tags - there are excellent light knives, stay away from ceramic please they're fragile and can shatter, that are in the $40 range. Wonderful forged in the $100. Of course you can go up in price but I promise, price and brand does not always mean awesome.
Go have fun and play, choose what you think is best for you - just don't cut yourself :)
Oh! And a steel is nice if you want to sharpen your own, I take mine in and have them done by friends.