I am a home cook with a set of 20 year old German (Wusthof) knives and a couple Shun utility knives that are rarely touched. This was my first high-end Japanese chef knife. So, predictably, its performance has absolutely blown me away. Thus far I've mainly used it for prepping veg: beets, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, peppers, potato, tomato. But also cut a flank steak into strips for fajitas. It goes through food like it isn't even there.
Fit and finish are, as everyone reports, superb. Very comfortable to hold. Excellent balance. Feels like an extension of your hand when using a pinch grip. Only leather stropped it a couple times so far. But it seems to come right back to ultra-sharp. My only minor complaint (and one I knew about before purchasing) is that food definitely does not release easily from this knife due to its extremely thin profile.